Sunday, October 27, 2013


I have not had sugar for 3 days. It's not just sugar I am not eating, but it is starch (bread, rice, potatoes...) as well as dairy (except butter and heavy whipping cream), and fruits, except for berries and pomegranates. This is for 30 days. I'm doing this because of all the books and articles I have immersed my self in, that talk about insulin sensitivity, hypothyroidism, weight loss, all come back to the same idea as low-carb, skip sugar and foods that become sugar when you eat them. There is The 17 Day Diet, The 21 Day Diet, The Paleo Diet, The Thyroid Diet. Though not identical, what I get from all of these is the same message that I have to cut my sugar, in all forms.
I had mentioned that I read a nice article from The Great Fitness Experiment on exercise addiction and it made me think that I am pushing myself to far with the exercise. I don't feel addicted to the point where I ignore my  kids and my life, but I am at the point where I can't miss a workout and I rather go to the gym and get my hour or 2 in than hang out with friends or do anything really. And with all this exercise, where has it gotten me? I haven't made the progress I want. A response on the article about exercise addiction was by Kevin Geary at The rebooted body. I decided to check out his site and downloaded his free e-book. He talks about everything that I have been researching and he has a new perspective that talks about exercise addiction and over-training. I've never heard of over-exercising from the fitness coaches, I have dealt with. If anything "The Biggest Loser" mindset that has been pushed is to exercise to the point of vomiting and passing out all day everyday.
I thought, ok if I double my workouts I will get in better shape. I ran a marathon, thinking I would get in the best shape of my life. Though, I am amazed and proud that I ran a marathon, it really took determination, it didn't get me in great shape. So I am going to try The Rebooted Body program. For some reason, I have actually been able to go almost 4 days sugar-free. (Halloween candy is all over and I am not eating it). Maybe, it's no different than any other program that tells you,"duh, put down the sugar and you'll lose weight", but I have been trying to get healthier by still eating sugar and maybe this is the last ditch effort for me. I didn't think I could ever go cold turkey like this, but I am. It is depressing to think, I can't make my sweets, even my paleo ones where I use dates and bananas instead of sugar, but if I can fit into the smaller size of jeans (all my pants from 2 years ago), then it will be so worth it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I've talked about my struggle with salicylate sensitivity, which is located on the page salicylate intolerance. I came across this article on Real Food University that talks about a connection between salicylates and insulin resistance. I feel like I have insulin resistance and it was interesting to see these two issues being related. I liked the comments at the end of the article as well. This article, The effect of salicylates on insulin sensitivity, talks about salicylates, in this case aspirin, helping with glucose control, but it also talks about studies that have shown salicylates causing insensitivity.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

exercise addiction

Off topic, but my cat is biting my toes while I type (:

I recently read this article from The Great Fitness Experiment about exercise addiction. In it she mentions how she would find any excuse to exercise, she became weak, she ran a marathon and collapsed and then went to her high intensity interval training right after. She was doing workouts early morning and late at night, any chance to exercise. All that wasn't enough to convince her she had a problem. It was going to the doctor and seeing that she gained weight that did it. It was a really sad article but it made me think. She cites research that discusses how stress can impact the thyroid.
This made me think about how I didn't lose weight running even though I was putting in the miles and watching my diet very carefully. I wonder if I really overstressed my body, especially considering the fact that I had pneumonia in the last weeks of training and on race day. I am considering scaling back my exercise after reading this.  I am just maintaining now and not losing, which is really frustrating. So something needs to be done differently. I don't think I was eating enough and I was exercising really hard a few weeks ago and it made me feel really weak and just exhausted. I started having more protein and I felt a lot better.
I was already worried about my thyroid since I had my nose fixed (yes a nose job!) 3 and a half years a go. After my procedure I felt freezing (for about 3 years) It would be 100 degrees and I was happy because I wasn't too cold. I would wear layers of clothing in a house with no air conditioning because I was cold, when everyone was saying how hot they were. I had my thyroid checked at the doctor and they didn't tell me my number but they said it was within normal limits. However, I have read internet articles and books that say the thyroid test doesn't tell the whole story. It is actually tied up with insulin resistance and these two things can play on each other and make you a mess. I found an article that discusses how propofol induces systemic insulin resistance! Hello, I steadily gained about 6 poounds after this surgery with no change to my diet or exercise. I didn't know what the hell was going on. Then I had to have prednisone last year for ulcerative colitis, while training for my race and that put on another 10 pounds. And here is where I am stuck. I have lost 2 pounds and I'm going nowhere. I don't think that this Biggest Loser style working out is a good way to go for me.
I just read this ebook from Charby Ibrahim of  The Ancesteral Body, I really recommend reading it. It's free. Anyway he does mention not over-doing it and how you can get what you need from shorter workouts.
For more on the thyroid, I recommend The Thyroid Diet. It explained a lot to me, and helped me see that I was hypothyroid regardless of what the blood test was saying. With all this being said, I want to have a eating lifestyle and daily activity that doesn't stress out my body to exhaustion. It looks like this is not giving me the results I want. In fact the opposite. What does this mean for marathon training? I don't know. Maybe I'll take it down to the half or do a relay? Well see what happens in the next few months.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


TA DA!! I just decided to go into the Good Will yesterday. I sometimes do that just to see if there is anything interesting. Oh and since I just finished painting my living room, I decided that it needs new furniture, which we aren't going to buy right now. I thought I might be able to find a nice coffee table that I can refinish at the thrift store. Anyway, they didn't have coffee tables but as I was leaving I saw this piano for 99$!!! Two of the keys were stuck and I almost walked away. Then I pulled out my cell phone and googled how to fix "stuck" keys. I found this website. It said that something like a coin, stuck between the keys, could be the culprit. I found 2 quarters stuck between the keys that didn't work. So I guess it only cost be $98.50 (:
I spent this morning cleaning it and polishing the wood. It appears to work perfectly. I am so excited.

I had to bribe my brother-in-law with dinner to help move the piano out of the truck and into the house. These are the beets from my garden. Golden and Red. They are gorgeous. I sliced them and then added salt and pepper. I drizzled balsamic vinegar (a lot actually, more like dumped) and olive oil and then I roasted them at 400 degrees, maybe for 20 minutes. When they were done I sprinkled goat cheese on them. They tasted delish.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sticking to a Paleo Plan and Socializing!

So here is my deal. When I am home I can come up with my menus and I can even stick to them. But there is a big problem with social events, going to the movies, Halloween candy all over the place, etc. Last week I saw a movie with my husband and we wanted to get some junk to eat but we didn't want to get candy or popcorn so we got nothing. I had some pumpkin seeds in my purse so we ate those and it worked out. This can work with my husband who is trying to lose weight and give up junk food himself. But what about the kids birthday parties, my son wanted to go out to pizza for his birthday, my friends saying lets get something to eat or get coffee? I feel like I have no friends and all I do is clean my house, but when I'm thinking food sabotage there are actually a lot of occasions for this.

I need some kind of plan for eating out and socializing. So just get a chicken breast ceasar salad, all restaurants have that right? Well, I'm Muslim and I only eat Zabiha/Halaal meat; therefore, I can't eat the meat at most restaurants. The choices are then, pasta, cheese, seafood ( I cannot stand seafood), so all the foods that will not allow me to lose weight. Then coffee shops are the tempting sugar-laden coffee drinks, the cakes, the muffins, the pumpkin spiced lattee and salted caramel chocolate. But I need to resist, so I will have pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds to have instead of popcorn as a snack, I will order tea without sugar at coffee shops and pass on the cakes and pastries, and say "No, thanks. I'm good" when offered. I will eat my protein and veggie filled dinner before I go out.
I'm trying to socialize in active ways, instead of always going out to eat. The problem is none of my friends want to do active things. I wanted to go to Extreme Challenge with a group of friends and none of them want to do it. They complain about cost or they just don't want the activity. I had to go with my kids, which was really fun, but I think a girls' night would be awesome. I wanted to try rock climbing and no one will do that either. I need more active friends (: And these are the skinny freaks who refuse all activity....
On the topic of Extreme Challenge, it is a place where you hang from harnesses and play games and compete or just mess around. For example, my husband and I both hung from harnesses and we played tug of war, where we had to pull each other off of the platform we were each standing on. And then we both are pulled up into the air. It was really fun and I was sweating and out of breath. It's a good workout. I would love to work out that way more often. However, I was exhausted after and hour, where as the kids played a second hour. It does make me feel old (:

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sugar and Funnel Cakes

I took my daughter to school and then the hail started so I went home instead of the gym to protect my car. . I didn't even think it would rain to day and now it's thunder and lightening and hail.
My conundrum is whether I should put my painting clothes on and finish painting and go to the gym later in the afternoon or sit here and go to the gym when this stops. I didn't paint yesterday. I could've and I could've finished but I just didn't feel like it. I took the kids to the pumpkin patch a.k.a. adult hell. I go every year and the kids love its but I am exhausted by trying to keep my son from running off and standing in outrageous lines for the kids to jump on the varieties of bouncy castles. But now we have a wagon. The first year we went my sisters and I had 7 kids between us and we all bought about 3 pumpkins each, We sat at the exit of the pumpkin patch, realizing the car was about a mile away. I had to make multiple trips holding pumpkins in each arm to the car. My arms were so sore. And my inner workout fanatic was not even excited about the chance to burn calories. So, now my sister and sister-in-law both got wagons and I only buy one pumpkin that I can fit into their wagons. I mean I hated carrying the heavy pumpkins across the Chatfield but not enough to dish out 100 bucks for a wagon.
I'm thinking about my meal plans for this week and I have really been trying to cut down on sugar. I need to do this Paleo in steps, so I am working on not eating sugar. This includes the handfuls here and there of chocolate chips. I was really good at it last week. Trying to be mindful. I am not munching on all this Halloween candy that is everywhere (didn't take any at that pumpkin patch) I'm not buying it at the store. I found a bowl of butterfingers from last Halloween in the cupboard that I don't know why I put up there and I had a bite of one and it tasted too sweet, not that I still don't love butterfinger, but for God's sake they are a year old and they still have kept, that means they are made of pure crap. 
I am actually happy with how I look, but I want to be lighter to be a better athlete. Whoa, I didn't think that would ever happen.
So this week I want to work on my portion sizes. I have discovered about myself that when I eat to satiety I can not lose weight. I know all the commercials that say never feel hungry and still lose weight. For me at least that is bull. So, now that I have some, and I mean a tiny amount of self-control for sugar, by basically just not buying it at the store and not eating chocolate chips every time I pass the kitchen, I think I can measure out my food. There are two ways to go about this. I read a book a few years ago, written by a doctor about metabolism and he said that just cutting back on a % of what you would eat at each meal will make a difference but not feel like a difference. So, make a usual plate of food and then take off 25% of it from your plate. Now this can only be effective if you only eat at those meal times, because otherwise you will just make up those calories standing in front of the fridge or walking past candy dishes. Since I have really improved on not snacking at the fridge and not eating candy I could do this.
Another method is to skip dinner. Now lots of nutritionist and doctors on Web MD and talk shows say never to do this. But there is a thing called intermittent fasting, which has a lot of science behind it and if you allow your body to go for 18 hours of not eating you can improve a lot of health markers, like insulin sensitivity, which will help you burn fat instead of storing it. I did this when I wanted to lose the weight after having my son, I had never heard of intermittent fasting (I've been doing Islamic fasting which is abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset every Ramadan) My logic was I can eat normal for myself (which means to eat until I am full) all day and then after 4 pm I won't eat and I will just tolerate that hunger until I go to sleep. And I lost weight fast.
The problem with doing that now is my kids are older and my husband comes home from work and I think it's important for us to sit down and eat together. So I am going to try the taking 25% off of my plate for each meal.
I already had breakfast, which was a Mueller yogurt ( I am trying to get off dairy, but let me get off the candy and other blatant sugar forms first) I am so sick of eggs and was craving yogurt, so whatever Paleo :P

 Speaking of the devil (chocolate chips), my son just brought me the whole bag of cc asking for me to open them so he could eat them all. And he will, and then he will feel sick.  If these were open already that is what he would be doing. But low and behold, they are sitting next to me and I haven't eaten a one :).And I buy these so I can make the Paleo-ish cupcakes for my kids, so they have a snack that they like and don't whine for donuts and candy every time we go to the store. It's a compromise that I have to make for them. I bought them cupcakes at the Pumpkin Patch yesterday and received many a comment about my being a nutritionist and giving my kids cupcakes. We go to that place once a year and these were the gourmet cupcakes from the food truck. But then my sister went and got her daughter a funnel cake, so she's a worse mom than me (:
The rain stopped, I'm going for a run!

Friday, October 11, 2013


This was my favorite song to run to today!

So I don't have boot camp this month because they couldn't get the required number of participants to run the class. That being said, I now have no idea what to do at the gym on Wednesday and Friday. Today I thought, let me run. I won't start training until January but with all the RPM and circuit training and strength, I've let running go. I should be running 5 miles on a regular basis. So I did 3 miles and it made me realize why I love to run (: Even though the longer distances make me hate it so so much. Ill do 4 for next time, probably on wednesday and then 4.5 and then 5. I am working on running faster. I think I didn't push myself with speed at all last time and I need to do that. I am thinking of joining a running group. I am too shy for it, but maybe I should get over that and just go to a group of strangers who all seem to know each other and nobody knows me.
I'm still painting. Yesterday I put the tape up. I hated that so much. Today I am going to paint that wall. I hope I'm done by Saturday.

I finally worked out about 3 meals to make. I think that's a better plan for me. Get about 3-4 meals planned and go shopping for them, and then I won't have to worry about totally having no taste for something when it's time to make it because I wouldn't have planned to far out.

So my first meal was chicken cutlet flavored with lime and dill. Then I made a sauce out of caramelizing pears, garlic and onion with a balsamic reduction. (that sounded fancy, I just poured balsamic vinegar in the pan and let it thicken. ) I then cut some pieces of Brie cheese and put it on the chicken and let it melt. It was really good.
I laid it on a bed of greens and Voila!
So tonight I'm making beef chili with guacomole, and a pineapple mango salsa. I will make tortillas for the kids but I will abstain from them myself :(

Next will be KooKoo sabzi. Its made with greens and eggs like a cheeseless, porkless quiche. Its semi-vegetarian. I like to have a non-meat based meal once a week. I just get sick of meat everyday, which I know is not paleo but what can I do.

Between painting and cooking, I hope to come up with more recipes for the next 3 days. I made an apple pie, because its fall and I wanted to cook apples. I googled Paleo apple pie and got one from 
Elana's Pantry.
I doesn't have much sugar in it, like 1 tablespoon. It was a little dry so I want to come up with a way to improve that, but for a healthier version of apple pie, it was pretty good. My husband liked it and ate it all. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Painting ugghh!

So I'm trying to paint my living room and bathroom all alone. There are about a million holes to patch up and it says I have to let it dry for 24 hours before I can do a second coat or paint. So tomorrow, I will just see holes that are not all the way filled and then have to patch those again and then wait another day to paint. The problem is that I cannot handle my house in this disarray for much longer. Another issue is taping. I cannot reach the ceiling to tape also I cannot seem to make a straight line with this stuff. And for the base boards, how the hell is that done? The carpet covers half of them. Do I take them off to paint them? I don't know how to take them off? This doesn't have much to do with nutrition or fitness but I am staying home from the gym to do this so this will be my activity for the next few days....
Oh and the husband is absolutely no help.....

 It is really hard to stick to a weekly menu. That was my main goal, but here is the issue: If I come up with a menu I don't want to eat it by the time it comes around. I put th is fish dish up for last week and I went to Whole Foods thinking I can get some good fish. At Whole Foods, I spent 60$ on things I don't need (they didn't have the kelp noodles for my Paleo Chicken Noodle Soup, I used regular noodles and now they are too soggy and I don't want to eat the rest of my giant pot of soup that is otherwise really good). Anyway, I ended up making chicken cutlets instead of the crusted fish. My kids like the fish though. I need to make a menu for the rest of this week and I have no ideas. Total brain fart here.

Here's a yummy salad I threw together yesterday though. Eggs, carrots, apples, lettuce, and balsamic vinegar with olive oil

Tonight I'm thinking of making KooKoo sabzi, its an Iranian quiche. That's the only way I can think to describe it. It's made of greens (green onion and parsley, spinach and kale if you like, I don't) Zereshk (sour berries) and eggs and then you sautee it on a pan until its cooked through and fllip it to make both sides kinda crunchy. My kids like it. I serve it up with pickles (that I made myself!) and tomatoes (had to pick them all from the garden because of the frost, must use them now). The non-Paleo part is you eat it with plain yogurt and bread, which I will be skipping for myself.

I'm still thinking about what else to make for the rest of the week. I will update soon!