Sunday, February 24, 2013

Doing great...

Doing great! 

Yep, life is going well with my lenten observances... unfortunately, that doesn't mean I'm any better at blogging more often!  Oops.  Best intentions...
Ready to ski first day!!  That's me on the right!

Have gone skiing since lent began, and YES, I cheated with rice while away!!  Really, I had to... there was about 3 small chunks of beef in the beef curry the one day and I was so hungry from skiing!!  The next day, there was NOTHING on the menu for this Primal gluten-free girl except "seafood pilaf"... so I got that, hoping for more seafood than rice.  Um.  Good try, but nope.  There were about 10 small, I mean small scallops, about 4 small shrimp and perhaps 5 peas in a yellow rice concoction.  Ate it all.  Of course, both meals were eaten with lots of prayers (you know how the guilt works in us Catholics...).  

Well, other than having rice for those two meals, the others went well as the hotel staff understood quickly my gluten intolerance (called "allergy" here as they truly understand those!!) and prepared special meals for me.  I had tomato sauce over a non-breadcrumbed meatloaf for one dinner (many other people wanted what I had instead of their dark sauce with mushrooms), and for breakfast a typical Japanese one complete with Nato.  I opened it, forced the hubby to try it, took one small bite myself, then promptly shut the little box it came in... smelled it all day.  Ugh.  Definitely one of those dishes one MUST be raised on to enjoy!!  That breakfast also contained miso soup with tofu (drank the soup, ate the mushrooms, but left the soy pieces behind) and tamago (think scrambled eggs in a form, but lightly sweetened... not my favorite as I  like my eggs with SALT, but edible).  

My biggest problem that first week was the coffee.  Yes, I must be a little 'mad' as that is my ONE thing I've never allowed the docs to take away from me in my years of being sick and migrainey.  Yep, told the neurologist to get a life when he suggested going decaf, same thing to the cardiologist when he suggested decaf would help slow down my fast heartbeat.  However, 12 days later and I'm still getting caffeine  just through the green tea.  It's all good.  No headaches, no withdrawal... hopefully, when I start drinking it again, I'll be content to be sugarfree!!  

My son and me, at top second day!  
So, after 12 days, have I lost weight?  Yep.  5 lbs or 2 kg.  Yeah, me!!  What's better is the tummy bloating and retaining water in my legs is gone (except a little right legged swelling after the two lunches of rice).  AND... my clothes are already fitting better.  Niiiiice. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Its been 2 days

So... it's Friday and I've been practicing these promises for the past 2 days now.  How hard?  VERY when it comes to my morning coffee!!!  Remember, #5 was to only drink green tea and water, so that means no coffee.  WHAT??  Why would I give up coffee???  I'm such a proponent of this brew... so, why?  

Well, for me, coffee is not drunk black, but full of cream and flavor.  I know, I know... NOT Paleo or even Primal.  Well, kinda primal with the cream, but not with the flavor as it's from a bottle.  I developed quite the addiction to the new Coffeemate creamers that are "natural".  They sucked me in with their ingredient listing of NONFAT MILK, HEAVY CREAM, SUGAR, NATURAL FLAVOR CONTAINS MILK.  So, what's the problem with those?  NOT grass-fed cow milk #1, and #2 the sugar is probably GMO sugar beets... and what the heck is "natural flavor"???  Read this from Health Basics and you'll see that "natural flavorings" can be really yucky stuff. 

So, I figured to reset my coffee drinking habits, time to give it up for a bit.  I was, however, drinking a tablespoon or more of coconut oil in it every morning.  THAT, I'm looking forward to restarting!!  

Yes, I've had mild headaches the past 2 days.  But, remember, I'm drinking Green Tea, so I didn't go "cold turkey" from caffeine.  I know better than that!!

I have noticed, though, that the tea... yes, even green tea purchased in Japan, has some kind of aftertaste.  So, I'm planning on making it without the bag and see if perhaps that's the cause of the aftertaste.  

I DO have more energy.  Whereas I was just sitting my bum on the couch watching TV during the day or evenings, I'm up doing things and getting more done!  A slight flare-up of fibromyalgia and joint aches though, not sure why... will see if that goes away as my system detoxifies.  

Oh, dinners and lunches!  What HAVE I been eating?  

Salmon and stir fry with avocado. YUM!

Ash Wednesday adhered to the Holy Day rule of eating dinner only, so that was pan seared salmon, stir fried zucchini, diakon, and onions with a wheat-free soy sauce, ginger, garlic, salt and cracked pepper seasoning.  All that numminess with a 1/2 avocado on the side with red wine vinegar and cracked papper.  Boy that avocado was PERFECT!!  

Thursday, I had the Peppered beef salad without the tortilla strips at Chili's for lunch and broiled Kobe steak (salt and pepper) while I stir fried zucchini, carrots and onions with ginger in basil-macadamia nut oil.  Water for drink, followed by lovely warm green tea afterwards and a blood orange for desert.

Now, what fun things have I been doing?  Had a tour of AFN Tokyo (Armed Forces Network) with my culture group and got the chance to sit at the anchor desk!  Thrilling to be in a dark studio with all the lights on me.      

The newest Anchor of the Pacific Update:  Your very own, Debi... BabyPT!! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lent 2013

No, this isn't me!!  Just liked her getting ashes outside Starbucks!! 
Yep.  I observe Lent.  For us Catholics, and some other Christian religions, it all begins on Ash Wednesday.  I typically go early in the day for ashes because I just don't hide them... others, go in the evening and take their shower right afterwards.  Believe it or not, wearing the ash cross reminds some to go get their ashes, and others it sparks conversations.  Typically, not conversations that are anti-Catholic (thank goodness!!).

I had a friend about 20-some years ago who also observed lent and she would "take on" something instead of "give up" something.  She had a great point in taking on something new... they say it takes 20 - 22 days to create a habit.  Well, lent is 40 days, so that's truly long enough to create a good habit.  So, what would she do?  Typically, something healthy for herself such as drinking 2 or 3 liters of water a day, exercising each day, or only saying positive things to herself.

Fast forward to now, and it's my turn.  Why?  Well, I promised myself and my readers that I'd go "Strict Paleo" at the start of 2013 as I'm on a plateau.  Happened for a few days, then the chocolates would call to me, or I'd go and eat out.  In Japan.  Yep.  Rice comes with EVERYTHING.  Since I'm severely gluten intolerant, I "allowed" myself the delicious, non-GMO rice they grow in this country.  How do I spell plateau??  R-I-C-E and CHOCOLATE!!  Yeah, I know... when I ate chocolate, it was dark and as dark as I could find (yes!  I found a 99% cacoa bar here!!  It was bitter, but only a bite or two and I was good!).

Clearly NOT 100% as they would be brown/grey in color
 I then started allowing myself some buckwheat, called soba in Japan.  These noodles are everywhere and some noodle shops carry the 100% soba (most are 80% soba and 20% wheat).  Well, a Japanese friend of mine purchased these 100% noodles for me and I ate them with great aplomb... with spaghetti sauce, in soup, or just cold (yep, that's Japanese in the summertime).

So, my Lenten Observances are set to get myself back on track.  Why?  I figured that if I couldn't get back on track for myself, then this little Catholic Primal girl would get back on track for her faith!  It's MUCH harder to let someone else down than yourself, and the Big Guy?  He's the hardest to let down!!  So... here goes, from 13 Feb to 29 March, these are my promises:

1) Holy days and Fridays will fast until dinner, then meatless (seafood OK)
2) Only consume meats, veggies, nuts/seeds, and limited fruits
3) NO GRAINS (corn and rice, too), NO beans/legumes, NO dairy (yogurt OK)
4) any food eaten out will be subject to these rules…
5) Drink only unsweetened green tea and water.
6) exercise every day... Do something active!

Now, as my hubby pointed out, #4 is a "given".  But, for me, it's not.  Even when I was "strict Paleo", I still would eat the rice while out on culture group events or just eating out. I felt that if I didn't eat the rice, I'd starve.  OK. Fine.  Great for "not lent" time, but this IS a time of sacrifice.  So, what that means is that I'll have to get into the habit of bringing beef jerky and my nut/fruit mixes with me when we go out.  THAT WILL BE CHALLENGING!!  I have a LOT of culture group outings this month and next, plue two ski trips.  Ski trips are even MORE challenging as typically, one feels the need for a carb like rice while skiing for more energy.  I can't even think of what I might find as we embark on this first ski trip this weekend that doesn't contain rice.  I'll post on it and let you know!