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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Fasting 16 hours...or the best I can

There are volumes about the medical benefits of fasting, going back thousands of years if I believe what I read. A few weeks ago Spring sprung in force, bringing wet days mixed up with hot sunny ones, a boat load of pollen and my seasonal cough. NO! I remember thinking. NOT AGAIN. So weary of the hacking and flemm and mucous and all that entails, I couldn't bear to even think of it. So I jumped on Google and took a ride down allergy lane hoping for some new age miracle that had been posted since my last trip a few years ago.

Part of the problem is that for the last 15 years I've been taking my Orenda Immune so I had forgotten how bad it was before. I had run out, forgotten to reorder, and made the fateful decision to wait for my next auto ship a month away. A two edged sword that was. Yes it reinforced how essential the Immune is for everyday health, but also that it could mask an underlying continuing immune challenge.

Hence the Google Trip. And the very first item that popped up for treating allergies was fasting. My query had coincided with a new popular diet, although at the time I didn't realize that. I started by doing a two day water fast. It wasn't difficult; I drank lots of water and my determination had put in a rare appearance. And I stopped coughing. Just stopped. As I began to eat again the same two villains raised their heads way above the rest of the pack when it came to instigating congestion- dairy and bread. It would start in the back of my throat and by the time I laid down to sleep the coughing would start.

A list of my favorite foods has always included Mac n Cheese, Grilled Cheese, Buttered Toast, and on and on and on.  I know it bothers me, but no matter how many times I eliminate those from my diet they always sneak their way back in to my menus. What to do. And that's where the new fasting regime can into the picture.  "You should go talk to R, she's been fasting for weeks and feels great." Come to find out it's not just her, it's lots of others in the office getting good results. The idea is that you confine your eating to an eight hour period each day, followed by a 16 hour fast. This gives our body the time it needs to kick in the immunity work; getting rid of carcinogens, repairing damage, overall cell health and benefiting from their protective nature.  There are many articles on why this is important, and how our immune system works so have fun searching them out to read.

For two weeks I've been aiming to incorporate this style of eating into my life. Some days it's hard. This  morning for example. Week days have a schedule so it's easy to skip breakfast, and weeknights are okay because I know I need to start my 16 hours. But weekends...when the rest of the family is having potatoes and eggs it's a bit hard to refrain from adding your own breakfast plate to the foray. So maybe lunch was at 10:30 instead of noon today. But I know not to beat myself up, and that I can reset tonight. My eight hours will be 10:30 - 6:30 instead of 11-7 or 12-8. No biggie.

So after popping the last five tater tots left over from their breakfast (we were down to one hash brown patty) I went ahead and prepared  my lunch. Earlier in the week I had cooked some white rice, and roasted some veggies; throwing those in a bowl to heat up was quick and easy. I can't go down the tracking for nutrition road again, but I do sometimes check in to make sure I'm not eating crazy.  this is an easy site for figuring that out:  Meal calculator

C is up, gotta run.

Sunday, August 27, 2017


Watching 'What the Health' on Netflix reminded me of some of the many reasons I began eating for Nutrition back in...2008? I don't remember exactly. What I do remember is that for the three years I concentrated on feeding my body well, I was feeling better, having more energy and slimming down without suffering. So what happened? Why am I fat and unhappy about it? Well, unhappy in some moments and could care less in others which is the crux of the problem and has been for a while. Remembering to care becomes exhausting when coupled with working full time. I long for the days when I could meal plan, prep in advance and enjoy chopped salads for lunch and nutrient rich soups and stoups for dinner without being overwhelmed by it all.  And spending much of the day on the computer doesn't leave my back in any shape for food prep. I am still modifying my behavior from the repetitive motion injury that started back in 2004 when archery was still in the picture. Another source of grief, not being able to shoot.

So for the last few weeks I have been adding in more nutrition, cutting back on the easy fast food, and talking myself out of having a snack in the middle of the night - well, sometimes anyway. That's a hard one as I'm no longer using any night time sleep help and bread is my go to comfort food. Luckily there isn't usually much of that in the house.

I think watching puss drain from an infected pig carcass in the movie has cured my longing for a sausage biscuit at Mickey D's - hopefully permanently. And I am working more normal hours so I have more time and energy to think about what to eat.

Yesterday I had real coffee in the morning with cream and sugar - another treat on the way out - and wasn't hungry until brunch time. I spent the morning working in the back yard, mowing up fox tails and giving all of the trees a good soak in preparation for a sizzling weekend. It's a good think to work before eating because then I am hot and wanting something cool instead of being cold and craving something hot. Win Win.  Brunch turned into a  Shape smoothie, adding frozen spinach, my daily tablespoon of ground flax, red grapes, and a small banana. I used unsweetened almond milk, and it was green and delicious. Well, it's always green and delicious, but just a little more so yesterday.

Today I am making parfaits using frozen berries, Cashew yogurt with honey & vanilla, and scoops of flax & hemp hearts.  These thicken up overnight and make a dense filling breakfast that I can feel good about. I am playing with the idea of mixing in a shape packet with the cashew yogurt to give each parfait a bit of a nutritional lift, We'll see.

Nothing playing at the movies this weekend, and I caught up all of the laundry yesterday so I am thinking about how to spend my time. There are several projects I could work on, but already my bed is calling for a quick morning nap. Maybe it was the hash browns and egg I had for breakfast....

Monday, August 21, 2017

Monday Morning, a while later

I sat down to write because today feels different. But after deleting a dozen first sentences maybe not so much has changed within me after all. I work. I do dishes and laundry. I play with my golden girl and her new most assuredly adorable little brother. Coming home and being with family has become my world.

I wanted to write about this past Friday, and my sister in law being laid to rest, but I find my emotions still too raw. Yesterday I dreamed of going to a therapist and declaring that I didn't know there was still so much anger in me. Maybe that was therapeutic enough, maybe another chink in my armour has fallen away or at least begun to chip. Oh yes, I love analogies and words and sentences that for a moment make me feel empowered. But I long for real change, for steps going forward. 

I also love quotes that give me hope. The latest, "It is not our memories that define us, but what we do". I hate to think what the past years say about me. But one thing I can be sure of is that no matter how slow I travel this route, I have not quit. I have not sat down at the side of the road with my head in hands.

Off to work and another productive day; my lunch bag full of veggies, and good intentions tucked into every corner.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Orenda CBS: Days 3-6

What a crazy busy week. During the days it was easy to stay on plan, taking my burn and drinking my clean, but I hadn't planned ahead and didn't have anything at home to mix my Shape shakes. So here is how the days went.

Mornings:  Take vitamins from daily container that contains a Burn. Pack water bottles & fruit, mix clean with hot water to drink on the way to work instead of my usual decaf coffee. At work eat my fruit and start drinking my water.

Lunches:  Take a Burn from the cute little sailboat pill tin I carry to work in my purse each day. Drink another clean, have half a pre-made salad, usually kale and something, adding beans, nuts or seeds and yes, using the salad dressing that comes with the mix. Not on program, but an excepted modification for my busy schedule right now. Besides, my Nutri bullet that is so handy at making fresh dressings is in the garage.

Dinners: Take the last Burn before driving home from work between 4-6. Have mostly cooked veggies, a bite of roast one night, tea and water, maybe fruit for dessert. Last weekend we had cooked a pot roast and there were leftover veggies, lots of onions, carrots, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts & potatoes. While potatoes are not on plan, they are one of my staples instead of animal protein and for me I think I would feel too deprived if I omitted them.  Another night I threw a bag of frozen mixed veggies into the Instapot with some potatoes and stock to make a quick veggie stoup and had that the next two nights. If you've never heard of Magic Mushroom Mix google it now and use it in everything!

I drank all of my water each day except for yesterday; I was short about half, but that is still way more water than I've been drinking lately. And I had a piece of Lemon Meringue  pie from Sprouts for my Friday night dessert.

For me, not too bad.  And I am noticing changes in my face, tummy and waist. Which reminds me I didn't measure my waist. I'll measure it today and again after the 30 days is up. I haven't decided yet if I will order another 30 days right away, but just being away from fast food this week and pouring in the nutrition I have seen a change in my appetite and energy. So I just want to see if I can eat for nutrition on my own for a week or two before another round of 30 days. We'll see, there's no strict plan or objective other than lasting healthy habits; I think my brain and heart are ready for at least that much. It's too overwhelming to concentrate on the obvious or material motivations I may have, so my focus is on healthy habits - those will take me where I want to go, and who I want to be.

Yikes. I didn't even know where to measure my waist. So I have two measurements:

Smallest at indentation: 43"
Small of back to belly button:  45"

Scary Shit - only ten inches to go!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Orenda CBS: Day Two

I slept well last night. I had been concerned with taking three of the Burn capsules yesterday that have green tea ingredients, but the flip side of that is staying busier during the day so I was more tired at night.  Win Win.

I drank all of my water, 120 ounces, and this morning I can make my hands into fists! Still a bit swollen but incredibly better than yesterday morning.  I remember from my first time on this program how quickly my body responded, but had forgotten the details. What a relief going about the morning's activities. Pouring cereal, slicing a banana packing a school lunch. I don't always do those things and it's nice to have a day off to help out.

Day off? What? I am meeting the vendor who is coming to clean out, disinfect, seal, and lay down new insulation in my attic. The house is over 30 years old and it's time. I know we have unwelcome visitors up there. Explaining to A this morning she asked if we were going to make them a warm place outside to be dry and warm and her mother and I both said, "No!"  My heart may have been with her but not my brain. Someday I will probably have a pet rat, they are so smart and friendly, but the vagabonds have to go.

Today is another 'Clean' day, and I will do better than yesterday. Once the Fam had left for their Superbowl party I ate leftovers instead of having the shake I had planned on making. M had cooked bacon, had even asked if that was ok and I said yes. But he left four little pieces out on the counter, and I heard their siren song calling me, calling me, calling me. I made the rational decision that I wasn't in a contest and that I could eat what I wanted. Better to not deprive myself and go off the deep end later in retribution. Of course that led to a small bowl of leftover Chinese food, and finally corn chips dipped in the left over avocado half smashed up with salt and garlic. But it ended there, and I drank all of my water plus the two servings of Clean. And yes, my hands seem more like a big deal now that you know about the Chinese food.

Time to drink my Clean. I love that the first ingredient is Aronia berry, and that I am giving my immune system a flood of antioxidants. Once that is done I am prepping for the appointment, then while they are working I will be throwing away all of the leftovers from the fridge having garnered permission from my daughter last night.

One last item to catch up on since I haven't been writing. R is expecting my first grandson in April. We are all so happy and excited, and getting our home ready to welcome him is such good motivation for accomplishing tasks. He is also another reason for starting this program - I am soon to need more energy and flexibility and strength! Not that A doesn't need that too, but I had become complacent in my 'disability'. Old before my time because I was hiding from the world.  This may just be another manic episode, but my outlook this morning is still positive and forward looking. Something happened this year; I'm not sure what, but I'm praying it lasts.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Orenda CBS: Day One

This past month has been long hours spent at work, water seeping back into the corner of the living room warping the new laminate, and the continuing thinning and rearranging of everything in my bedroom. Crazy but calm, and this past week I found myself desiring change. At work, moving offices and seeing myself reflected over and over in the dark windows of the office complex, I saw a hulking shadow of the woman I once was, and it pricked and poked at my awareness until a glimmer of want wormed it's way in to my psyche.

So I turned to Orenda, feeling that this time I was in the right frame of mind to receive the help I need. I ordered the 30 day pack of their CBS (Clean, Burn, Shape) cleansing and weight loss program. Packed with nutrition and support for really 'cleaning house' I knew it was what I needed and now it is sitting here on my desk as I type away.

I am currently without printer so I scribbled down the first ten days of the CBS plan on a piece of notebook paper last night once my box had arrived, and this morning I measured out my water. Half my body weight in ounces is a bit daunting, but I've added a bit of sparkling lemon or lime to each water bottle so it will go down easier. I also have a carafe of ginger water steeping to heat up later for a change.

I've added the burn capsules to my morning vitamin dispenser along with my Orenda vitamins and I have a pretty little container to keep more burn in my desk at work to take midday Monday thru Friday. Today I will do a little shopping so I can make a yummy bean soup filled with veg and greens to take for lunches or dinners this week, and the cleanest almond milk I can find to mix up my Shape shakes. (I chose vanilla so I have the option to add cocoa powder if the mood arises.)

I have a short list of ideas for meals this week from the website (Taco salad Tuesday, carrot soup, black eyed pea soup, 3 bean salad and white bean soup) all of which I would normally make when eating for nutrition. As I obviously need to do again, maybe even desperately so. I think I'll go the pre-made salad route this week too (kale & Brussels sprouts) to help transition to preparing food again.

Mornings this past year have been ever more....challenging. Too much take out, too many desserts and fast food means swollen and uncooperative hands, and I am looking forward to the fast results I will see over the next ten days. I was pleased this morning to get on the scale and see that I am down from my all time high after the recent holiday season - 242.5 I think - and I'm looking forward to seeing what the new number is on the morning of...2/15 (yes I was counting on my fingers because my crazy brain still does not trust my organic math.)

"And I'm feeling good!"

Day 1: 239.4

Monday, January 2, 2017

An exercise in futility

A laptop to work on, and a pallet still reeling from fudge, I wonder if I want to write. Part of me yearns for my fingers to dance across the letters, while Ms. Depresso finds the intention futile if not downright ridiculous. Maybe later.

I wonder how many more months will slip by.....