Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Just do it.

     Yesterday I just about gave up.  I haven't lost weight in a month, I went down 20 pounds, gained three back and sat.  When I got on the scale yesterday I felt so hopeless I cried for an hour and just gave up.  I have followed my diet to the letter, except the night I introduced berries back into my diet and Kiri had ten pounds of the sweetest strawberries I've ever eaten.  I ate them until my belly hurt and we finished the whole box.  I was in pain the whole next day.  OOPS!  I have jogged three miles a day every day, that's 21 miles a week, even on days that I helped people move or was running around all day.  So when people give me the advice that I might not be doing enough or that I need to change my routine, I wanna cry.  Running is the only form of exercise that I've ever felt a passion for and I strive harder at every day.  I don't know what it is about it that makes it so, but I just love it.  I do it happy for and hour and a half, until my sides ache and my legs feel like jello.  I do have more energy from it, and I feel pretty healthy.  I'm just working really really hard every single day and not seeing seeing many results and it's frustrating.
     Fortunately I have an amazing network of people that encourage me, I stuck to it.  I've decided to add 30 day shred every day, along with the three miles.  Weekends I will trade jogging for swimming laps.  Sticking to the diet with added Ali pills, which will mean I will have to watch my caloric intake.   Seems like a lot, but I thought I was already doing a lot.  Gotta do what ya gotta do.
     If this doesn't make some difference in the next month, then I'm marching into Settebello's and never coming out. That reminds me, my craving of the week!  Settebello's pizza in the slc.

The only pizza place that tastes like real Italian pizza, trust me.  My perfect pizza is white sauce, mozzarella, prosciutto, Italian olives, pine nuts, artichoke hearts, and ricotta, made crispy in a brick oven.  Yum!

 My favorite diet food this week is cherries.  It's getting to be that fantastic time of year that cherries are cheap, abundant, and delicious.  They are wonderful straight out of the fridge, I'm addicted!


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Life as I know it...

     I have been very hesitant to write about my health changes on a public forum. Sadly, I worry I will fail and look like a quitter.  Trust me, willpower isn't my strong suit.  The problem is that my new routine is such a large part of my life right now that I feel compelled to write about it.  I can't seem to find my journal, so I suppose I will write it out in blog form.  Plus only like five people read this thing and they're close friends who love and support me either way.  So without further adieu, life as I know it...
      A few months ago I was just about my highest weight, 180.  Didn't particularly mind though.  I felt okay, learned to love my body, and ate like a person like me loves to eat.  I truly do believe that all we have is this one short life to live, and trying to adhere to other people's standards of beauty by running on a ratmill every day is a pathetic waste of it.  The idea of spending my days eating boiled chicken instead of indulging in all the delectable bounty this plant has to offer, holds no interest to me at all.  It's a yummy yummy world, I intend to enjoy it.  
     All would be well with my plan to live a rich enjoyable life but for the fact that I have Crohn's Disease.  I was diagnosed with it when I was about 15.  What goes on is that I have a malfunctioning small intestine.  For reasons that doctor's have no clue about, my immune system chooses to attack my intestinal tract.  The leading theories are, stress, heredity, diet, and environmental factors.  Can't be cured, and it can spread to other organs, most commonly joints and eyes.  Thank god that hasn't happened to me, the idea of loosing my vision is terrifying.  There are lots of fun symptoms for us folks, but the ones I get to enjoy are, diarrhea, bloody stools, fatigue, anemia, 20 trips a day to the bathroom, accidents (though it's been a few years), nerve problems, bloating, migraines, hemorrhoids, inflammation,  malabsorption, and best of all, daily searing pain.    The majority of people with Crohn's have to have feet of intestine cut out, and, after so many surgery's, we get the joy of being attached to a colostomy bag.  Many years of internal scarring puts us at a high risk of cancer, which claims the majority of us around middle age.  I can't believe Ken liked me with all my issues. :)
     I seem to have to have problems most with stress and bad diet.  When I was young my mother and father didn't want to put me on pills, so they figured out what my body could handle, one food at a time.  When I grew up I stopped following the diet, and took steroids for flair ups.
     A few months ago I had the mother of all flair ups, and made the decision to go back to the diet.  I really have to start taking care of myself.  I don't want to die young.  At all.  Plus, I'm just sick of the pain.  Okay the breakdown is, all meats are okay, most fruits (those with less sugar) are okay in moderation, all except the higher starch veggies are okay, hard cheeses are fine, eggs, and nuts are fine.  I absolutely cannot have sugar, corn syrup, or honey.  Can't have any breads, grains, potatoes, corn, or any dairy other than hard cheeses.  If I stick to the diet like glue than almost all my symptoms go away.  Stray, and I feel it.
      It's been pretty hard to stick to the diet, but I do feel really good these days.  I also decided to pick up running/walking.  Why not right?  My Dad is a runner and I've always loved it.
  My thought is that if I always give myself  the option to walk, at least I'll be doing something.  Can I just say that I love running so so much!  I am excited to go everyday and now I'm at 3 miles a day without stopping.  I've decided I'm going to run a 10k next summer.  There's something about running that just makes my feel goods happy.  Plus a lot of my friends have joined up, which is the cherry on the cake.
     As it turns out, not being able to eat the crap junk food anymore is such a fantastic thing.  Fruit tastes like bliss these days and I have been enjoying the summer fruits with new eyes and taste buds.  The farmer's market down here is about to open up and I can hardly contain myself!   I shouldn't wear a hat that day because I'll end up throwing it in the air with joy like Mary Tyler Moore.
     The only frustrating thing is that I dropped 20 pounds, gained 2 back, and have stopped loosing weight for the last week or two.  I'd kinda like to switch diets but I can't, and I really don't want to do anything but run.  I might have to go get some weights for my arms and legs to run with.  I'm sure as hell not going to give up.
     I guess that's about all of it.  Oh, I did want to mention my current craving.  I would really love a big bowl of Thai curry over sticky rice.  I am really starting to miss rice in general.
       My favorite new healthy treat this week is mango slices sprinkled with cinnamon.  I have been loving on the mango's in general, and thought it might be good, now I can't get enough.  Sweet things compliment cinnamon well so they're almost always paired together, so when eating mango's with cinnamon it feels like you're eating a dessert.  Yummmm!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Crisp, Crunchy, Refreshing, Tart...

These days I'm on a very restrictive diet.  Boy oh boy do I miss food, food is such a deep part of me.  And so, I thought it would be just lovely to write out my love of food.  Sit tight, this may take a while

My parents loved food. Every other day my mother would bring home a new food we hadn't tried, and my father would figure out how to cook it.  They both prided themselves as cooks and were often competitive.  My home was always full of smells.  I miss the smell of home made bread.

I was born in Japan, and spent my first 8 years there.  My parents shopped in the local stores and made Japanese food most nights.  I have this great video of my Mom preparing fresh bamboo.  I sat with my mother in little Japanese noodle houses sharing large bowls of noodles in broth. Sigh.

From there we moved to Hawaii for a few years.  I climbed guava and avocado trees and brought bags home to my folks. I ate roasted pig that was cooked all day in the ground.  There were pineapple plantations that we would drive to for fun.  We would roll down all the windows and inhale the sticky sweet scent.  So pungent that it felt like it made the air heavy and you could taste it on your tongue.

  When I got married we were sent to Italy by the military.  Every day in the car on the way to the base we passed vineyards.  Ken fell in love with wine, which flows like water in that country.

Every time we went somewhere new I would insist on one authentic well made meal.  I had a steak in Assisi at the top of the village that I will remember for life.  Chicken in wine sauce in Nice, baguettes and chocolate banana crepes in Paris, brauts in Germany, hot mulled wine in Austria, and ate sourdough in San Fran.

  At 26 I realized that food was my calling and signed up for school.  I've never been more happy in my life than I was when I was in cooking school, and will be going back this fall.  I had access to so many wonderful fresh foods and I soaked up the knowledge like a sponge.  I was excited to go everyday.  Sigh again.

I do have something to tide me over though.  The farmer's market starts up again in a few days.  I'm so excited!
Fresh juicy produce, coffees, breads, honey.  Drool!

When I cook I tend to lean more towards simple meals put together correctly, with high quality ingredients.  Don't get me wrong, I love a wide variety of foods, but I tend to go for rustic, authentic, staple meals.  Coq Au Vin is a good example.  Very longstanding French dish that mother's served to their family's.  Basically just chicken stew cooked in wine.  Very healthy, hardy, and hard to mess up.  Yum.....
I have a love for cheeses, breads, butter, garlic, onions, and evoo.  Sigh. I love creating sauces and soups.  It's so gratifying to take a handful of ingredients and create a unique flavor and texture.  With soups, I love gathering healthy things and making something all your own.  You can be so creative if you know a little about soups.  The dish I'm craving these days is chicken veggie with rice.  That and cheese sticks from Papa John's, fire roasted marshmallows, honey dew melon, apples, chi tea, and Miss Angie's egg rolls. Yep I have a list.  Proud of it.  I don't think I could have gone this long without dreaming of food.

In fact, I may do a way shorter blog about cravings every week.  It seems to help me stay away from it some how, and it's so much fun to dream about food!
What are your current cravings?