Whole30 and Paleo Eating Update, Several Months Later

I have a few things going against me when it comes to dieting. First off, I grew up in Minnesota. This is/was(?) the land of meat roasts, mashed potatoes, gravy and bread. Milk (usually whole) was common with meals. Vegetables were an afterthought – open a can of something, boil it for ten minutes, cool and serve. Then like half the population now days near my age, I have my assorted health problems.

Most food is anything but healthy and wise for most people planning to diet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In short, I had a lot overcome. I thought I ate healthy meals and a few snacks. Bad habits, bad habits, and bad habits were a major part of my eating well. Learning that my eating in particular and foods I ate in general, made a poor foundation for eating well.

It is hard to know you are not eating healthy when everyone you know eats like you, or eats worse than you. Then there are the articles and news sources scaring you over one food after another. I think these are the number one problem for people trying to lose weight. We know what should be healthy, but we do not understand how to do it.

We have no idea what healthy eating is. We put diets into a category of something we do to lose weight. We rarely relate “diet” with correct eating, or at least closer to eating healthier. Whew, I’m through with this diet, I lost xx pounds and I’m done with it. Maybe a doughnut, or a little ice cream to celebrate….

“I know I can’t eat like I used to but at least I can a few of the things I really have been missing.” Well, I have been off my diet for a few weeks now and I have only gained x (hopefully not xx) pounds. I guess weight loss is normal? Everyone say’s it is. It’s been three months now, and I gained even more weight. I don’t understand! I am not eating like I used to…

Oh no, it’s my fourth month, and I have gained back all the wight I had lost except two or three pounds. If the above paragraphs sound familiar it is because they are all too common for too many people. Until this year, I would count myself as one of the people thinking these things.

This year, knowing I have a gluten allergy, I spotted the Whole30 plan in the book store. After seeing it around on and off, and browsing through it on and off, I bought the book, read it, and started following the Whole30 plan. You can read about it here:

Feeling Better, Eating Differently

Or, if you prefer, you can read all my dieting endeavors by doing a search on my blog for the word, “diet”. I have tried many diets and exercise programs with mixed results, until now.

It has been around six months now since I started the Whole30 eating plan, and around seven months since I changed to the Paleo Diet which you can read about here:

Dieting Decoded, The Simplest, Easiest, Ultimate Healthy Diet

I think this post is the post is where I fully realized the concept of eating correctly. There is no magic cure, no magic pill. I won’t bore you with the plethora of diet fallacies out there, I will provide one short example. The Acai Berry, was once the magic bullet of weight loss. The Acai Berry and a cheap magnesium pill do and are essentially the same thing. Acai Berries are natural magnesium supplements. Before you leave this post, remember, there is no diet shortcut, no magic pill or exercise. Common sense and the correct way of eating are the only way to successfully change your dieting life.

Diet education, and diet incorporation is the answer. The Whole30 and Paleo Diet make correct, healthy eating obvious, if you can not understand what they are doing for you, and why they work, you may need to see a counselor, because the problem is not in your diet. No offense meant, but that is the way it is.

Many people try to diet and sabotage themselves, as I did for years, once they leave or fall off the diet they were on. A healthy diet, is learning how to eat for the rest of your life, not a few weeks or months. A healthy diet is not setting a goal of losing some number of pounds and then eating as you did before your weight loss.

The key to healthy eating and weight loss is as simple as I write about in the diet posts above. The greatest gift I received from Whole30 and Paleo is this: If you are unable to identify the ingredients in the food you are about to eat, you shouldn’t be eating it. Simple is healthy, when it comes to food.

Possible Link Between Cold Sores and Alzheimer’s Disease

There is a possible link between Cold Sores and Alzheimer’s Disease. From what I read, the Herpes virus that causes cold sores which goes dormant appears to eventually move into the brain, and create what we know as Alzheimer’s Disease.

We all have a blood-brain barrier that stops almost all virus’ from entering the brain itself, but as we know, there are some brain issues that show some virus’ are able to make it through the brain-blood barrier and cause brain infections.

Here is a link from the most comprehensive article I stumbled across. There was another article commenting on this study, but I could not retrieve the link.

Possible Link Between Cold Sores and Alzheimer’s Disease

Personally, I hope this link proves to be false….

Dieting Decoded, The Simplest, Easiest, Ultimate Healthy Diet

The diet light bulb came on last evening, or put another way, I experienced a diet epiphany! This refreshing thought came about while trying to explain what the Whole30 and Paleo diet are in there essence. I do not assume to speak for either of these diets, but rather provide a simple explanation of what their long term goal is.

This is the last diet advice you will ever need. You can stop searching the Internet for the latest and greatest diet advice. You may give away your diet books as you won’t need them any more. You can say goodby to your frustrations from trying to diet, and enjoy all the positives a better way of eating provide.

If you are not familiar with a better way to eat, here is my explanation, which is not formal, nor accepted as a proper explanation. I am sure many diet authorities would be willing to say I am wrong, so be it. First, as you know I recently completed the Whole30 program. Whole30 eating program removes all foods known to cause problems when eaten. Food allergies, intolerance, or simple indigestion followed by constipation and/or diarrhea are taken out of the 30 day diet.

I changed to the Paleo diet, which attempts to go back to the way our ancestors ate before the rise of farming and ranching. Both ways of eating are very similar from my understanding, though Whole30 is more restrictive. Either one is a great choice, but they do not easily get down to the essence of making food choices simpler. In both eating styles, there are a lot of vegetables, with some type of protein. Though knowing this does not make for a simple explanation to family and friends.

My light bulb moment was the relationship not only between these two eating styles, but comparing them to a general diet as an understandable spoken explanation of, “What I can eat”, which is the topic of much conversation these days. Now, that I made the leap to a simple explanation everyone can understand, I simply say, “I eat what you and I were fed as a baby”. Obvious and transparent with no ambiguity.

When feeding an infant starting on solid food, vegetables generally comprise the whole meal. Typically, a jar of green beans is a complete meal for an infant. Or when a little older, perhaps two vegetables, or a vegetable and fruit. Further along the infant diet, meat is added.

Stop Diet Hopping!

The last words you will ever need to read about Dieting!

There are no sweet fruit juices, candies, cakes or cookies given to a baby. At least not more than a taste. We want our babies to be healthy, wealthy, and wise, not chubby and sickly. We know how to feed an infant. My comparison to an infant’s diet struck me as a perfect explanation for an answer to, “What do I eat”? “I eat what we both ate as babies.” How succinct.

Suddenly, as if coming out a fog, friends and family understand I am not on some exotic, secret diet plan with exotic foods. They remember what they have fed to their children as infants, or have seen the foods other parents feed their infants. “What can I eat”, is clarified and taken out of the category of mystery and placed in the, well, that is obvious now category.

I no longer have to go through any long drawn out explanation, of what foods I wish to eat, and what foods I no longer eat. I simply say, I eat those types of foods we ate as infants, the same foods you were fed and fed your children as infants.

I am not sure where we transgressed from being fed wholesome healthy food to living on fast food, soda, and sweets. We did this very bad food substitution, and convinced ourselves we are eating healthy. Surprise, we’re eating like everyone else is, not eating healthy. Eating as healthy as our friends who take an average of five pills a day to offset their serious medical conditions. High blood pressure, High Cholesterol, Diabetes, Arthritis, and a host of other common diet related medical conditions which were practically unheard of a few hundred years ago.

Now don’t go out an buy baby food, the cost is too high, and the taste too bland. Instead buy the same foods you find in the infant section of the baby food aisle. In ending, you no longer need a diet plan, all you need is apply the common sense your Mother had when she fed you for your first year of life.

Feeling Better, Eating Differently

This is an edited copy of an email to a family member. I thought you may wish to read it too. I removed the eating plan name and the places I ate at, as my experience may or may not be the result of eating there. Fwiw, everything I have written is true for now. If anything changes, I will update this post.

You may like reading my thoughts about a eating plan? I have passed the thirty-first day on the xxxxxxxx eating plan. I can call it quits if I wish. Thing is, I’m sticking with this because I feel so much better.

I have found I may have a few more food issues than I thought. I find I can not eat orange beef and brown rice at xxxxxxx. I never thought it was possible, but I felt like I had three different headaches going at one time, starting about an hour after I ate! Lasted until I fell asleep for the night. I wasn’t a happy camper as I have eaten the same dish at the same place many times.

Even a few more foods are strongly suspect. Tacos are suspect, maybe the corn? Then there is this almond butter bar that is supposed to be healthy. Guess what? Eating one bar raised my blood pressure 20 plus points, and it stayed up for several hours! One little (claimed to be healthy) almond butter bar did this to me. I know it is the bar, because I ate one bar every other day over six days, with the same results. Before this eating plan, I thought all these foods were okay for me. And there are probably more foods I will find out I do not want to eat. I haven’t ventured too far from the eating plan, so I don’t know yet. I feel so good now.  I don’t want to ruin it.

On the bright side. Eating as much as I want to, I have lost almost 14 pounds without feeling (need to eat) hungry! My blood pressure dropped 20 points and is now in the young person normal range. My sugar level is as low as its ever been. I do not feel like I’m going to fall over from trying to keep it in a low range.

Best Health question I ever read!

And I owe it all to changing what I eat! My muscles and joints no longer get stiff for no obvious reason. My stiff neck, which I have had for over two decades, gone! My knees, sometimes aching at night, gone. I thought these were a part of getting older. Finding out that was wrong think.

All this has led to thinking more about food. Do I want to be as healthy as possible, or do I want to take and have my sugar and blood pressure keep going higher, and my muscles and joints hurting, because food makes me sick? When I started this way of eating, I thought, okay, food is now going to be a maintenance function. That said, most of the xxxxxxx plan meals, once I have added chili too, are pretty tasty. Living in New Mexico I guess. Some meals taste awesome, and some need help.

One interesting observation about overweight people eating deserts and other unhealthy foods. This is something I read about why you won’t overeat on a Paleo diet: “An overweight person has no trouble eating a quart of ice cream after a heavy dinner, but they would not wish to eat a quart of Broccoli instead.” The truth in this thought really hit home.

No more cravings! For the last half of the first week, through the second week, I occasionally had cravings for something sweet. Then they went away completely. I just ate more food! In fact, some days when I wake up, I delay eating because I do not feel hungry. On other days though, I am famished. Same goes with lunch and dinner.

It is amazing! Just like when I quit eating wheat, how much better I feel, though it took a few weeks longer! How different I eat now, and it feels normal. Sometimes meals are a little strange, like sweet potatoes with eggs for breakfast. This has since changed to meat or eggs with leftover vegetables or an apple or two. Also I find I am perfectly happy drinking water. For some unknown reason, water now tastes really good.

I am going to transition to a Paleo diet. I enjoy the way the xxxxxx has made me feel, and I don’t miss guessing whether some processed food has gluten in it or not. With xxxxxxx and eventually Paleo diet, Gluten is not a concern as grains are not on the menu to start with. This is another one of those, “I wish I would have tried this years ago!”. I am eating and feeling so much better!

Ending on a funny note. I find some of the recipes call for half of some vegetable or other, usually bell pepper. The other half used to go into the refrigerator only to be thrown out when I found it on a back shelf some time later. I no longer have that problem. Now when I am prepping to start dinner, I now just eat the other half of the bell pepper. No more food waste.

Simple, Fast, Anywhere, Whole Body Exercise

Walking is not enough. Walking and jogging or running are great for our cardiovascular system. Walking, jogging or running does not quite do it for Total Body Health. Total Body Health is being able to do what you want to need to do without fear of injury or pain the next day.

Exercise that uses as many of the muscles as possible leads to better overall health and fitness. If you are older like me, total body health makes the difference between getting through each day and looking forward to doing something that needs to be done each day. Tasks that used to be painful, become simple. Waking up sore because you pulled a few weeds yesterday ceases to becomes a painful reminder.

Only thing is, I, like many people do not like to exercise. Exercise is boring, and in itself brings no satisfaction. I want to get my exercise over quickly and get the most benefit in the least amount of time. I think most people prefer less time spent exercising and more time doing what they want to do.

Same as my previous post about my experience with High Intensity Interval Training, there are ways to exercise that maximize gain with minimal time spent doing them. And you do not need a gym. I again researched the internet and books to find what exercises are most common for giving the most return for the least amount of time.

I listed these out and picked out a few that were the most common and proven to be the most effective exercises to use as many muscles as possible while doing each exercise. I think these few exercises do just that. Of course they can be broken down into two or more individual exercises but this would take more time. These exercises take less than five minutes, and if you are just starting out, I suggest you spend less than two minutes on all of them to find out what your muscles think of them.

Exercise is like cooking, you can always add more. One main reason people stop exercising is because it becomes painful. You should think past this and realize it was not painful to get to the point where exercise is painful, so you should start out slow and increase your exercise time as your body is ready for it. There is no need to be sore and have your muscles hurt. We are all looking for a level of fitness, not joining an elite fighting organization.

I found this Ab Wheel in the pic in a thrift store for a few dollars. It is like new condition. When I bought it, I thought how hard can it be? I saw the infomercials, and it looked easy enough. One movement to the right, one to the center and one stretch to the left. I went through the movements when I brought home for about two minutes. The Ab Wheel afterward didn’t feel like I had done anything. The next day when I went to do a plank, I felt every strained and pained muscle in my abdomen tell me what I did yesterday. Starting slow is starting smarter.

Two minutes using this tells you your core fitness level

Here are the exercises I condensed down that most of the material I read agrees are the best whole body movements. You can look on web if you are not familiar with them as they are explained much better than I would explain them

1. Jumping Jacks – regular and side to side ~ Goal for one minute, thirty seconds or less starting out.

2. Squats ~ Goal for one minute, plan on ten seconds starting out.

3. Plank with palms down ~ Goal for thirty seconds, plan on about ten seconds starting out.

4. Plank with hands clenched ~ Goal for thirty seconds, plan on about ten seconds starting out.

5. Left and Right Side Planks ~ Goal for thirty plus seconds each, plan on about ten seconds or less for each side starting out.

5. Mountain Climber (partial Burpee movement) ~ Goal for one minute, less than thirty seconds starting out.

6. Lunge ~ Goal for one minute, less than thirty seconds starting out.

If you do these in succession, not only do they go fast, but you will be breathing harder than when when you started. If it is two hard, relax for a bit between exercises until you get used to them. You will be waking up any number of weak dormant muscles, so start slowly. I think doing these exercises every other or every third day is a good starting point. They only take a few minutes, but work a lot of muscles.

Of course check with your doctor to ensure these are exercises you can do. If you have not exercised in a while, perform these exercises ten seconds each. You will wake the next day and your body will let you know you did something different the day before. A little sore isn’t bad, really sore makes you want to not do it again.

I find simply standing with my arms at my sides for a few minutes after I am done with these exercises feels really good. I think it lets the muscles relax and form into the shape they should be in rather than the lazy way I have stretched and contorted them with my bad habits. Let me know how this works for you.

High Intensity Interval Training, My One Month Observations

I have been reading a lot about exercise lately. I joined a gym, and had an hour with an instructor. The hour turned out to be more of a sales pitch than anything else, but there may be a few seeds of knowledge in what I heard. The instructor holds a Masters Degree in Human Physiology, so I believe most of what he said. He lost me at the $400.00 per month trainer cost to get me looking like an American Ninja competitor in six months. I thought six months was too quick, maybe if he said seven months I would have signed up….

Between, the instructor, books and the web, I have learned exercise has changed a lot over the years. Smarter exercise is better exercise. Longer exercise times are not always smarter or better. Science seems to show almost everyone can get themselves in reasonable physical condition in as little as thirty minutes a week, as quickly as a few months.

The idea of High Intensity Interval Training is simple, once it is understood. It seems our bodies may not made for trotting all day alongside a herd of Antelope waiting for our chance to strike. The newer exercise science seems to declare we are made for reasonable movement mixed with all out spurts of action or movement mixed in.

Translated into something I understand, all out spurts of action means as little as one minute of cycling, running, swimming, cross country skiing, or performing any total body activity at the fastest possible speed. This all out action is repeated three times after warmup, with intervals of slower or recovery movement in between the all out portions.

Here is my plan using the ideas from High Intensity Interval Training:

1. Warm up. Perhaps a minute of jumping jacks followed by two minutes of walking, or simply walking about three minutes at a moderate pace.

2. Run as fast as I am able, with a goal of running all out for a full minute.

3. Slow to a walk for two to three minutes of recovery (catching my breath).

4. Run as fast as I am able, with a goal of running for a full minute.

5. Slow to a walk for two to three minutes of recovery (catching my breath).

6. Run as fast as I am able, with a goal of running for a full minute.

7. Slow to a walk for final recovery.

Exercise and feel younger, Exercise and feel better

I started using this High Intensity Interval Training exercise idea about a month ago, I could only run my fastest for about ten seconds. Muscles in my hips and upper thigh complained loudly and painfully. I thought at first I would not be able to do this as the pain was so quick and pronounced.

The pain remained for some days. The exercise reward seemed non-existent. I went through my cycles with a goal of this exercise plan every other day, or three times a week.

It is now a month or so later, and I am up to all out running all out for about thirty to forty seconds. No pain. My Recovery Walk lasts two to four minutes instead of ten or twelve. High Intensity Interval Training has a lot going for it after all. I confess I am a converted skeptic about High Intensity Interval Training.

As a baseline, I want to mention, I walk a lot. When the weather and other things cooperate, I walk somewhere around 15 miles or more a week. Running however is a whole different animal.

I do not remember having as much as jogged in the last twenty years. After 40, running was thought to cause joint problems. Initially running was where my major pain came from. I discovered I had several smaller unused or little used muscles around my lower hips and  hip joint.

Which brings me to something the instructor salesman told me which may or may not be true. As we sail past about fifty years of age, we become much more efficient at the things we do. If we are going to get up, we do two or more things because we are up.

Our body also starts to quit using non essential muscles, and even some muscles that are useful, but not mandatory in our lifestyle. Muscles start to deteriorate because we do not use them.

Setting my skepticism aside, I am sold on High Intensity Interval Training as the most productive use of limited exercise time. If you are like me and have not moved faster than a fast walk for some years, you may want to buy a bottle of your preferred pain reliever first.

Of course always check with your doctor, and read what you can find about High Intensity Interval Training to determine if this is the right exercise for you. I find I enjoy High Intensity Interval Training and the gains are fast – once the pain goes away.

Metformin and Probiotics

If you take Metformin you may be interested in reading what follows. Some people have mild to strong reaction from taking Metformin, usually expressed by diarrhea and/or a generally upset stomach. Many people have found that if Metformin gives them problems, taking a daily Probiotic helps with some Metformin side effects.

From the people I have spoken with, there does not seem to be any difference in what Probiotic one takes. Some people take close to top of the line and some people buy the cheapest Probiotic they can find. If you take or have priced Probiotics, you are aware that can be a difference of over $20.00 a month, sometimes more if you really go for the very top of the line Probiotic.

Cessation of diarrhea or a generally upset stomach generally happens within a week according to those I spoke with. With differing opinions on what Metformin really does, it is not known why or how a Probiotic makes a difference, though it appears to.

Metformin and a Probiotic may help with Metformin’s side effects

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started taking Probiotics about six months ago on a friends advice, and I believe Probiotics make a difference for me. I have a wheat allergy, and while Probiotics do nothing for the allergy itself, they do relieve the symptoms when I find after the fact, that I ingested wheat hidden in something I ate.

I also have read taking additional Probioticcs during the day helps with general upset stomach and diarrhea though I have no experience with this idea yet, and prefer not to.

I normally take one Probiotic with breakfast. If I start to feel my stomach bloating from hidden ingested wheat, I will take a second Probiotic. It is not a miracle cure, but it does seem to help. If you have stomach problems, are wheat intolerant, or take Metformin, trying a Probiotic may help you feel better. Of course check with your Doctor for your overall health first.

Nuts About Nuts

Nuts are something I never gave much thought to until recently. I had been buying premium brands of tree nuts for some time now. I eat tree nuts daily. In one of the stores I shop in, tree nuts for baking and cereal are in the same aisle. When I looked at the ingredients of the ‘Premium’ brand I noticed the oils listed are not the nut oils, but other oils used in frying.

What's in your nut?

What’s in your nut?

I went to the bakery section and looked at the oils contained in a package of baking tree nuts. The only oils listed are the natural oil of the nut itself, no other oils listed as ingredients.

Whose nuts are better?

Whose nuts are better?

Being curious I went to the web to find out about the differences. I was surprised by what I discovered. What I discovered made me change from buying premium tree nuts to the less expensive baking brands.

Most people who make nuts a part of their diet, do so for the oils the nuts contain. Nut oil is thought to be healthier than off the shelf oils and a good healthy source of fat in a diet.

Premium nuts as I understood from what I read are generally deep fried. Premium nuts do not really have to be premium in all respects. They do not need to be fresh, or packed with their own oils. Any nut that meets the processor’s requirements, is not too old or rancid, can be a premium nut.

What I did not find out was if the nut oils are intentionally extracted. If the nut oils are extracted, then premium nuts are not premium at all. These nuts are a by product of the nut oil extraction process.

Whether what I understand is true or not, two things are obvious about nuts. Baking nuts are less expensive than premium nuts. Baking nut oils are the better, natural nut oil, not a lower cost oil used for commercial processing.

Important stuff for people who eat nuts on a daily basis. Depending on which type of tree nut you buy, you may be missing, what you think you are getting from the tree nut. As for taste, well that is an individual choice.

No More Toe Fuzz

This secret for no more Toe Fuzz is so obvious, we all should know it. Well, it may not be the ultimate fix for Toe Fuzz, but it sure helps.

Doing this helps your socks feel like they did when they were new, within reason. If you want to change how your socks feel when you put them on, and you want to eliminate fuzz between your toes do this: Turn your socks inside out before washing.

Wash your socks inside out to help eliminate Toe Fuzz

Wash your socks inside out to help eliminate Toe Fuzz

So simple,it should be obvious, but it’s not. Washing your socks inside out, gets rid of all the loose fuzz. The foot pad of the sock tends to fluff up better when washed and dried inside out.

Now you know the secret to no more between the toe fuzz too.