Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Whole Foods

This article explains beautifully why I don't eat foods with artificial sweeteners, artificial fat, artificial anything, for that matter. I have been seeing so much fat free/sugar free pudding, fat free/sugar free yogurt, fat free/sugar free coffee creamer, low fat cookies, low fat/low sugar ice cream, etc, etc, etc....around blogland lately.
I sometimes want to scream and rant to them that while their intentions are good and they think they are being "healthy" they are, in actuality, slowly killing themselves and their metabolism. Our bodies are designed to digest real foods that came from the earth. Not synthetic foods that came from a science lab.

"Why would a fat substitute confuse the body? Food with a sweet or fatty taste usually indicates a large number of calories, and the taste triggers various responses by the body, including salivation, hormonal secretions and metabolic reactions. Fat substitutes can interfere with that relationship when the body expects to receive a large burst of calories but is fooled by a fat substitute."

Is it always easy? No way. There are so many things I'd rather do than spend double the time I used to in a grocery store reading every label of everything that goes into my cart. Are there times when I give in and just say screw it ~ yes, absolutely. In fact, I'm going through one of those times right now and it's why I've been so silent around here lately. With the end of the school year, new routines to try to figure out, all the crap going on with my TBI, and deciding whether or not to jump ship at the gym and give up my membership and join the new YMCA, I don't have any brain power left each day to devote to nutrition and whole foods eating. But that's the catch ~ the longer I go eating like crap, the more it effects my brain power and more fuzzy, yucky & gross I feel.

This article is exactly what I needed to pull myself out of my funk. I hope it helps someone out there in blogland, too.

Full Article here: Fat Substitutes Linked to Weight Gain: Rats On High-Fat Diet Gained More Weight After Eating Low-Calorie Potato Chips Made With Fat Substitutes

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Moving Forward...

Back in February, I posted about an accident I had when I was two years old. My accident resulted in a closed head injury, and if you've read the other post, you know that in 1976 there was little known about head injury so I did not receive any after care and everyone was simply thankful I was alive and functioning.

So much more information has come out about TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injury) and the medical community is really beginning to understand the lasting effects of what was once considered even a mild head injury.

No longer is there the belief that once the initial recovery period is complete that the patient goes about his/her normal daily life and all is peachy. Most symptoms begin to show fairly quickly and follow up appointments are scheduled over the next several years. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and a whole miriad of other therapies are often prescribed to help the patient deal with the effects of their injury.

Because my accident happened at such a young age, and very few notes were even written about it in my medical chart, no one can say for sure if I experienced any personality changes. A lot of the traits I exhibit are text book TBI symptoms, however no doctor or test will be able to point to a symptom of mine and say, with certainty, that it is a result of the TBI. I was simply too young and too much time has passed.

That doesn't mean, though, that I can't benefit from all of the research that has been/is being done. Yesterday I set my alarm for 5:00 am and made my way to the ferry boat to head over to Seattle and the University of Washington Medical Center.

After an hour long meeting with a neuropsychologist and answering 5,429 of his questions adn watching him take 382 pages worth of notes about my life, I met with a psychometrist (a technician) and spent 7 1/2 hours doing neuropsych testing. The WAIS - IV & the MMPI were by far the largest and longest of them all. I did other motor skills testing and grip strength tests and a few other cognitive measuring tests. I got home at 7:30 pm BEAT and went straight to bed.

Next Friday I'll go back and we'll talk about intelligence levels, we'll identify my cognative strengths & weaknesses and then we'll come up with a plan. Again, he won't be able to say "these are a direct result of your injury", but what I am hoping he will be able to say is "a lot of our other patients have symptoms similiar to yours and we've had great success treating them in this manner...."

Let me be clear here ~ I will not go on drugs. Psychopharmecueticals have their place in this world. I do not dispute that. However, they are not for me. I've been on Paxil & Prozac. I've been on Ritalin & a few others that I don't remember the names of and with all of those medications, I've discovered one thing: they don't work for me. I will not go down that road again. My doctor is aware of this and is fully supportive.

I'm looking forward to next week. If for no other reason than seeing my entire brain function all mapped out in pretty little numbers & charts. I'm kinda a dork like that! I'll report back after that appointment as well.

I do not intend for this blog to become a journal of my recovery from TBI ~ I'm considering using my other blog for that ~ however, it is all part of my becoming a more healthy idividual. Afterall, health is not only about the physical, but the spiritual and mental as well. It's all part of my journey.

~~~I will now return to the regularly scheduled blogging about exercise & weightloss~~~

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

So, here's a funny story. My husband installed a new app on my phone today called "Guardly" (can't link to it from my phone). You program up to five people as emergency contacts and at the touch of a button it will call, email and text them. The message goes something like this: "Jessica M is experiencing an emergency near xxx location."
The funny part is that it sends a test message to your contacts. I did not know this. My poor mother was just going about her business today when her phone rang (from my number) and she got the above message when she answered. 
She thought my husband's plane went down. She wasn't a happy camper when I called to tell her it was a false alarm!  Whoops!  Sorry Mom!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Haven't stopped moving....or eating....

I seriously cannot remember the last meal that I ate sitting at my own table. Thursday evening my husband had a dinner meeting, so the boys and I fended for ourselves for dinner ~ I made pancakes (I'd promised them). We ate a picnic on the living room floor (not at the table).

Friday morning my husband and I decided we'd had enough of our crappy sectional sofa and decided to get rid of it. We bought it from Costco 5 1/2 years ago and it was truly a big, colassal piece of shit. My husband had emailed Costco about it, just stating that it was horrible and that the repair company never did come out to fix a recall from two years ago, and that we'd never buy furniture from them again. We just wanted to voice our frustration. We got an email back from Costco telling us to return it to the store for a full refund. Um, what? We've had it over 5 years.

We decided to head to our local Costco to talk to the manager there. While my hubby did that, the boys and I ate lunch at the food court. Sure enough, the manager told us to bring it in. No problem. We felt a little guilty about it, but everyone at Costco was so pleasant and didn't even blink about it. We made it perfectly clear that it was not our intention to have used a couch for free for the past five years.

We went home and loaded up the couch into the truck and drove back to Costco. I have to stop here and tell you: I helped load that heavy, awkward peice of crap and my muscles didn't even flinch. That new weight lifting program RAWKS! In the past I would have had to stop every few feet to rearrange my grip, set the couch down, stretch my arms, etc....not Friday. I could have kept going for five more couches. I was so excited. I might have babbled on about it for the rest of the weekend. Maybe.

So, anyway, we off loaded the couch back to Costco and were issued a check for our purchase price + tax. We headed to the bank and deposited the check, looked at one another and said "Now what?" We decided to head to the Lazy Boy store just to see what they had. We'd browsed their store room numerous times and liked a lot of their peices but they were often over priced or out of our price range.

There had been a set there several months ago that I'd fallen in love with, but it was super expensive and there was no way we were going to spend that much on a set while we still have two small boys and two dirty dogs... *sigh*

As luck would have it, Lazy Boy has been hit fairly hard by the economy (who hasn't, right?) and they are currently changing management companies. The new management company wants all of the old inventory cleared out so they can bring all new pieces.

That set I fell in love with? It was still there. It was marked down to stupid cheap and we were able to buy a couch, a chair and a half (???) and an ottoman for $50 less than that check Costco just gave us! Hello?!? Destiny???? So, we went home and measured to make sure it would all fit and then headed to dinner (you know, to spend the rest of that $50) and discuss our options to make sure this set is really what we wanted. Oh, and we had promised the kids ice cream earlier in the day, so we hit DQ on the way home.....

We called and bought the set and scheduled to pick it up the next morning. Saturday was already busy without adding in a new couch ~ so we woke up early and after drinking some coffee and fiddling on the computer I headed to the gym (I'd skipped my Friday workout becasue of the couch situation). I only had a small window of time to get my workout done, I was scheduled to change up a few things in the workout and increase my weights). My head wasn't in it. I kept looking at the clock, I kept thinking about everything that we needed to do that day and I wasn't focused. I quit my workout halfway through and headed home.

My huband left to get the couch and I hopped in the shower and drank a protein shake and ate a banana. When he got home, we unloaded the couch grabbed the kids and some snacks and headed out to country. The farm from which we get our raw milk was having a big celebration that day and we headed out to join the fun and meet the cows! The boys had sandwiches in the truck. I ate an apple and some Cheezits.

After the dairy farm, we headed home and were able to sit quietly for about half an hour and then we were off again! It was Date Night! Several families trade child care each month, where one family keeps all of the kids (11 total) and the other couples get a night out. We dropped the kids off and my husband and I set out to run a few more errands and grab dinner (we really know how to live it up on date night, don't we? HA!) We hit a mongolian bbq for dinner. You know, where you load your plate up with meats and veggies and sauces and they cook it up for you? My tummy was plenty full after my first plate, but I'd somehow messed up my sauce and my food was tasteless. My tummy was satisfied, but my palate wasn't. So I went up for plate number two. I only made a small amount and the sauce was much better. I felt sick as we left....ugh.

I was scheduled for a class here on Sunday, and it's about two hours from our house. I got up bright and early, drank some coffee and ate a banana and a smoothie. I packed my lunch and packed up my gear and headed out to the gun range for eight blissful hours. By the time I was heading home, I was starving and had to stop to get something to eat. Fast food drive thru....

Needless to say, I woke up this morning feeling like a fat, puffy, salt lick. In case you lost count ~ that was Friday: lunch at Costco, dinner at Red Robin & Dairy Queen for dessert. Saturday it was lunch in the truck and dinner at Mongolian BBQ, Sunday it was breakfast on the go, lunch at a gun range & dinner at McD's.

Yea, the weigh in this morning wasn't pretty. More on that later....right now, I'm heading to the gym!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How is it that I can spend two hours at the gym with no problem, but after 10 minutes in the pool I wanted to cry for my Mommy?  25 minutes done. I didn't die. 

Back in the pool today. Pray for me.