Sunday, October 7, 2012

A sacred meal

I've been thinking about crafting a sacred food ritual with mindful eating practices. So far, this idea is very rough, but I want to put it out there in the hopes that this will solidify into something. I would have all participants sitting at a table, with food laid out. We would invoke the 4 directions, thanking them for their role in providing for us. So something like this:

   We call to Earth in the direction of the North! 
   You give us ground to walk on and to grow in. 
   All of us are nourished by your bounty and cradled in your womb.
   Sustain us, bless us. Hail and welcome! 

And so on and so forth for Air, Fire, and Water as well.

Then a call to the Divine in all Things, as opposed to a specific deity. And finally, blessings on all of the food on the table, thanking the plants and animals for their supreme gifts of their lives to nourish us, the hard working farmers who grew/raised the food, and to whomever took the time to prepare it. Then, of course, would come the good part: eating. All would be instructed to eat slowly, mindfully...not to rush. People could pass the food and drink with the standard "May you never hunger/thirst." People could also talk about the relationship they have with their food and how they would like it to change. What it could be instead, as it were.

 So yeah, that's what I have. I'd love to have some feedback. I think this would be great for say, Lammas. I know it's almost Samhain, but I'm thinking ahead here.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Whole 30 Days 21-30


So I did it! I'm done:) And yes, I'll do it again, though probably in February or March, just to deal with post-holiday scariness. So yes, let me talk about the last stretch of the Whole 30. Honestly, it felt easy. I've been on a restricted Candida diet anyway, so this was simply no big deal. If I wanted to eat out, I went to either Boloco ( or b.good ( for some tasty, unadulterated food that I didn't have to worry about. Yes, I went over their ingredient lists extensively, but I found food that I loved. Plus, they are Boston-centric businesses that I had easy access to. A big win all around. This last stretch I made it a point to eat breakfast, even if it was super early. Lunch was something I could keep small. I even found a place that could make a smoothie for me out of coconut water, bananas, and pineapples. That was a one time treat as it was $7! But it was tasty and I could do that at home. My cravings for salt diminished. Once I realized that salted nuts were throwing my digestion out of whack, honestly, it was easy to cut out. I am still going to use nut flour from time to time, I think. I'll see what it does. But since it's already ground, that may help. I think it was more of a texture/surface problem than anything. Carbs are also not necessarily my problem. I ate lots of sweet potatoes and squashes (delicata is my new favorite. I'll have to post a recipe on what I do with it). And I still lost 6 pounds. The biggest issue that I've been dealing with a stuffed nose/ throat thing that WON'T go away. If it had, I would have worked out more. But it impedes my breathing a bit, so that was a basic non-starter. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- I did have ice cream last night. Real ice cream with real sugar. Pumpkin flavored. It was delicious. But it left a coated feeling in my mouth, so honestly, it was less exciting than it could be. That's a good thing!!!! And it did not impact my weight. Oh yeah, so my total weight loss on Paleo is 33 lbs. I had gotten down to 29 lbs lost, but drifted upward again when I was cheating so much at the end of the summer. Ah well. I am lower now than I was before. I honestly think I am very close to the end. I want to turn my attention to getting more fit and toned than I was before. If anything I'll only want to lose about 3-4 more pounds, but it's hard to say. I have some excess skin that hasn't snapped back yet, if at all. But I look pretty darn amazing, if I do say so. And other than this yucky cold thing that I have had all month, I feel amazing, too.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Days 8-20 of the Whole 30!

I had forgotten to do a week 2 recap, then made one which was promptly eaten by the interwebz! So here I am doing it again. Eating Whole 30 style continues to be smooth. I've been this strict before, so doing it again is okay with me. My husband struggles a bit, but it's clear that he has major sugar craving issues that he knows he needs to correct for his own good. Some things I've noticed: Hormonal acne-my period did bring about some more acne on my chin, but at least it's isolated to there. Speaking of that, my cycle was actually an appropriate 28 day length. It usually has a very short luteal phase after ovulation, so it would end up at around 24 days. I used to chart when I was trying to get pregnant with my daughter, so I am very aware of how my cycle works. So this means that my hypothyroidism is not mucking up the works, so to speak, as it can. Having a short luteal phase is one cause of infertility and a sign of hormone issues, and I used to treat it with vitex before I knew my thyroid was in the dumps. That obviously helped as I was able to get pregnant easily. Now I don't want to have any more children, but being fertile, having my hormones do what they are supposed to be doing, is a good sign of health at my age. I seem to be a smidge smaller. I have a pair of tight pants that are well, less tight. Yay! An admission: I overdid a yoga routine, and I haven't done one since. It is my goal to get in at least 1 or 2, if not more in the next ten days. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of my Whole 30!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Week 1 of the Whole 30

I have survived the first week! I knew I would because I went cold turkey on so many food groups when I first was diagnosed with candida and leaky gut. But I have been slacking off lately, so I turned to the Whole 30 for some necessary structure. Plus, it helps that I have some friends going along for the ride with me.

Some things that I have noticed:

My skin looks much better. I always have some hormonal breakouts around ovulation and my period, but this last hormonal swing only brought two zits and they're all gone now. I'm glowing!

I *can* drink coffee with just my coconut creamer (which is coconut milk, coconut oil, and raw egg all blended). I used to have stevia with this, but I can go without it now.

I can pinpoint my cravings a little more. I definitely crave both salt and crunch, even over the sweet stuff. I had made some carmelized coconut chips with cinnamon and salt last night, which was great! I think I overate too much of them, but I didn't eat all that much yesterday.

I can go for longer periods without food. Since I'm eating nutrient-dense food, I have everything I need to fuel me for hours. I don't want to do that all the time, though. But good to know that I can and be okay.

I may be somewhat thinner. My waist looks smaller, but since I'm not allowed to measure or weigh myself, I'm not sure. Since I'm not allowed to measure or weigh myself, I need to be okay with that. Still working on it, really. That's harder than following the diet, almost! But it's a good medicine, so I'll take it.

Okay, so that's it. Stay tuned for week 2!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Day 1 of the Whole 30


This is my first Whole 30, so I'm sure that this will be very illuminating for me.

The first big change is that I drank green tea instead of coffee this morning...and then a second one at work. Coffee isn't forbidden, but I find that when I put coconut milk in it, I *really* need sweetener. Not so with cow's milk or cream. So, I'm going to give it a few days with the green tea and try again to see if it has become more palatable to me. An experiment!

Besides green tea, I had two ounces of smoked salmon (no sugar) for breakfast, which was almost too much. I work early, and usually my stomach isn't ready for food, and by the time I am, I'm teaching. Usually my coffee with coconut milk or coconut cream blend (coconut milk and oil,blended with an egg) is enough, but tea doesn't fill me at all. As it was, I was vaguely nauseous. But it passed.

For lunch, I had three black mission figs, broccoli, and pulled pork that I made yesterday. I can't tell you really how much I ate of that, but I was definitely satiated after.

I had a banana as a snack. It's been a long time since I had one, and it was so darn good.

Dinner is consisting of sauteed chicken, peppers, and onions in ghee, with lettuce to scoop it up.

I've also had lots of water today, so that can only help. I taught three classes today, so I was a bit parched with all of the talking.

Last not: I meant to weigh myself this morning, and then not do it for the next 30 days. But the digital scale went into wonk-mode (meaning either it's wrong, or we both suddenly lost 4 pounds each). So I decided to forget it. I know pretty much where I'm at. I did measure my waist at 29 inches. We'll see where it is on Day 31.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Countdown to the Whole30!

So after another weekend with my husband's family resulted in much cheating and the resulting intestinal distress, it firmed up my resolve: I'm doing a Whole30. My husband will be joining me, along with an online friend of mine. We're starting September 6th, but I'm ramping up to it now.

What is the Whole30? Well, take a look here.  This program, developed by the Hartwigs, is extremely strict. But as they say, it's only for 30 days, so it shouldn't be hard. Not like quitting smoking or beating cancer. So I can absolutely do this. It differs from my normal protocol in a few ways.

1. No weighing myself. This is hard because I use the scale to help me keep track. But health is more than the scale and I need to learn that lesson.

2. No white potatoes. They say it's arbitrary, really, but that avoiding potatoes will help balance hormones, which I need.

3. No artificial sweetener, not even stevia. Back when I was putting heavy cream in my coffee, I was able to forego sweetener. Not so yet with coconut milk.  Either I'll learn, or I'll just drink green tea in the morning. That's fine with me.

4. Ghee!!!! I *love* ghee. It's a dairy product, but since there's no whey or casein left in it, I'm going to trial it to see if I can handle it.

So it should be interesting. As I said, I'm working my way up to it. I'm still weighing myself, but I'm trying to cut out potatoes. I'm still sticking with my stevia, though, for now until the 6th. Wish me luck. When I get there, I plan on blogging about it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

My favorite cookbooks and blogs!

I started eating Paleo-ish sometime last year, fell off the wagon, and then returned to it this year after I was diagnosed with candida and leaky gut. My weight is under 140 for the first time since I was 18 years old (I'm 34 now), and even more importantly, I feel strong! I have a ways to go before I'm at superheroine status, but I am building quite a bit of muscle these days, which has led a few people to think I'm much lighter than I actually am.

Yeah, I guess you can say I'm on a diet, but the last thing I feel is deprived! My Gods, the food I eat feels downright decadent. How on earth do I do that? Well, I have to give props where they are due: to my favorite bloggers and their fabulous cookbooks! I will give you my top 3 bloggers with cookbooks that I use all the time.

Elana Amsterdam at Elana's Pantry was my first introduction to grain free living. I mainly use her recipes for sweet treats, which I use as my cheats. But I've used a few of her more savory recipes also; my favorite is her Matzo Ball Soup! She is currently looking for ideas on a new cookbook, but I love her Gluten Free Cupcakes. Check her out. She is an inspiration, beating back her MS with healthy living.

Melissa Joulwan at The Clothes Make the Girl is a real kick-ass kind of gal. Her recipes are a symphony of flavor. She put out Well Fed, and I'm telling you, my husband is always beyond excited when I make something from this. The only drawback? Sometimes it's a bit much flavor for my little girl, but I'm working on her. The Chocolate Chili is to die for!

Last but not least, Matt & Stacy, the Paleo Parents are fantastic for more kid-friendly fare. They would know how kids eat, since they have three boys! I bought their cookbook, Eat Like a Dinosaur, at the same time I got Well Fed. Elana Amsterdam did the forward! My favorite recipes are the beef and broccoli and the fool's gold nuggets. No links to those, have to go buy the book! But truly, they are real folks. They'll tell you when they fall and when they triumph.

Okay, so that's that. Use these cookbooks and you can eat like me. Know what it's like to have your body truly nourished and feel it sing! You won't regret it, I promise.