Sunday, January 12, 2014

Day 7: Can I blame it on the hormones?

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Taken from the parking lot at the museum. Lucky to call this home.
What a hectic weekend! I took the kids to meet my friend Michelle and her son at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. The weather today was unbelievable. It's been a drought sort of winter so far and my county has already asked for water use restrictions. But it makes for some spring-like weather in the middle of January, which we might as well enjoy.

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs and a 1/2 avocado, hot tea.

We got to the museum (which is more like an activity center on steroids) and walked around for a bit, watching the kids play and catching up.

Lunch: A couple slices of nitrate-free deli ham, the other 1/2 of the avocado, 1 oz of raw almonds, and some beets from Trader Joe's, several of the kids' pretzels, a couple bites of the kids' yogurt.  (oh, and a few small bites of PB&J)

I know that was a lousy/skimpy lunch, which might explain what happened later. It's not like I was trying to eat just a little food but without bread or other things like that it's hard to make a quick meal to-go without more forethought.

We stayed at the museum from 10am - 2pm and wore our whole party ou by climbing, coloring, building, painting, smooshing, and all-around fun for four solid hours.

Playing with goop

Exploring the boat

Hugging a concrete seal in the shadow of the Golden Gate
The kids were so well behaved, I'm so proud of who they are becoming, fine little people that are a joy to be around. Well, except for the witching hour, but it's not called the witching hour for nothin'.

After the museum we ran some errands, which included a stop for frozen yogurt. Well, folks, that's where the wheels came off my 28-day challenge.

Snack: Frozen yogurt with all the toppings

There you have it. I broke three, probably four, of the challenge guidelines - no sugar, no dairy, no processed foods. I'm sure there was some gluten in there somewhere too. I'm ok with my decision. I wanted it, I had it, and now to not let it become a free-for-all. I mean today I was tired, hungry, I'm on period, and, well, I'm only human, right?

Back at home and there were several times when I noticed I wanted to just grab something, like a dinner roll, or some tortilla chips, for no good reason other than that old diet thinking, "well, I ate xyz I might as well...". No, that's now how it works. I reminded myself - coming so close as to open the Hawaiian dinner roll bag - "no, we're not going there." My biggest motivation for not spiraling into a series of non-goal oriented choices is that I don't want to lose the momentum. I'm on a roll with improved eating and I don't want one trip to frozen yogurt to derail me.

Turkey meatloaf and mashed sweet potatoes (I went back for seconds)
Dinner: 3 slices of meatloaf plus bites from what the kids didn't finish, mashed sweet potatoes.

I'd gone to the store after the yogurt stop and forgot to buy any vegetables. I made a tweak to the meatloaf with oats instead of bread or bread crumbs but acquiesced on the milk. I gave the oats a few pulses in the food processor but next time I'll pulse them more so there are no identifiable oats left. It was good. The only things it was lacking on were salt and spices. When you use bread or breadcrumbs, those items are pre-salted (and spiced). Oats have nothing. So next time I'll increase the salt and spices some to compensate for that. But otherwise, I think I've found my new way to make meatloaf!

See? That's exactly the kind of knowledge I hoped would be an unexpected benefit from this challenge.

Ok, so on to the question of carbs. This challenge is not "no carbs", it's just that I'm used to getting my carbs from rice, pasta, a bit of bread, and snacks like pretzels and what-not, I'm short on alternatives for lack of knowledge, effort and preparation. We're not supposed to be eating grains this first week (other than quinoa) and I've obviously decided to ditch that part of the plan since I've been eating rice and oatmeal. But that didn't stop me from getting an earful from a few readers. For example, my buddy Mira schooled me a bit with the following...
"There is a reason there are 89 kinds of gu and chews for athletes on the market: you need carbs (and sometimes caffeine) to keep pep in your step. Go read articles about exercise and carb consumption prior and during from your runners world magazines or reputable online sources. Decide if they are all wrong after reading the science. . According to this, Sports Nutrition - Carbohydrates - How Carbohydrates Provide Energy for Exercise, rice and pasta are actually complex carbs. Perhaps you need to redefine which carbs are most important so as to not abandon your goals."
I agree, wholeheartedly, and I'd never try and go low-or-no carb, it's just not my thing. Mostly my issue has been lack of knowledge on the carbs that are available that are not processed and don't contain gluten (and aren't white potatoes). But after today other carbs are more officially open to me, ones that don't contain gluten and aren't processed. Also open are beans and nuts, foods I'm missing (mostly the beans, you know how often I eat black beans). Which reminds me, I was going to cook some in the slow cooker today and forgot. I'll have to do that tomorrow. Beans, avocado, pico de gallo and hot sauce and I'm happy. Guess I'll have to add rice to the mix too.

But I can't imagine my tired feeling is all diet, though I don't doubt what you eat to have the ability to cause such profound results, it's just that I can't imagine just cutting out processed foods and refined sugars would cause all this. We'll see, if I have a pep in my step tomorrow from the frozen yogurt maybe I'll toss the whole challenge out the window. Unlikely, since I don't like to give up. But I don't mind modifying, which is what I've been doing. After all, it's my plan.

Ok, it's 9pm and the kids are fast asleep. I had a horrible night sleep last night so I'm off to dreamland early. This weekend just flew by, can't believe it's back to the work-week tomorrow already.


  1. Okay, this comment should be for your other post but if I don't do this now, I'll forget. That's what having a 2 and 4 year old does to you. Wait, you already know what that's like. :) Okay, anyway, you mentioned a dog bugging you in your last run---well, I run with "Halt." You can buy it on Amazon for a super low price. It's pepper spray for dogs. It actually works (yes, I've had to use it). I'm deathly afraid of dogs even more so than being attacked by a human since in my experience, it's more likely! Anyway, just a suggestion. I'm sure it would work on mean humans as well. ;)

    1. Thanks! I should get some. I've been nervous a few times passing a stranger in the dark. I know the chances are slim but precautions don't hurt.

  2. You are only human! So you ate frozen yogurt? Oh well, live and learn. I had ice cream for dinner last night. Not the best decision I've ever had, but it happened. Moving on.

    1. Yep, that's the secret, moving on. It's not about being perfect. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. So, you're a rule breaker - so what ;) Were all guilty of it, and at least you are being honest and open about it. Hope you have a good sleep and a good week :)

  4. Hi, Michelle - I am certainly not an expert, but in reading what you have been eating over the course of this challenge so far, I'm thinking you probably aren't getting nearly enough calories! Have you tried loosely tracking just to see how you are stacking up in terms of calories every day? It might be different if you were a sedentary person, but factor in your workouts and my guess is you are probably literally running on empty. As someone who runs or cross-trains usually 45-60 min. a day, I find that I need at least 1,800 calories a day to avoid feeling totally fatigued....Less than that, and I start experiencing what I think of as "tree trunk legs" during all my workouts (e.g. tired, dead legs with no energy to spare). I would definitely look for ways to add more carbs to your breakfasts and lunches (I'm not sure what foods are forbidden, but maybe cook up some quinoa, or add in some more sweet potatoes?), which seem esp. skimpy to me. Just my two cents!

    1. Thanks for the thoughtful feedback Steph. I've been thinking about it. Today was an accidental low calorie day but I plan to have a better approach tomorrow. I completely agree with your calorie range, I bet that's what I used to eat, easily. And the dead legs thing is exactly what I've been feeling. Thanks again, getting this kind of feedback is awesome!

  5. Hope you figure it out. It's no fun to feel draggy all the time.

    1. Thanks, no fun at all. Today was marginally better. And I had a great run, which fixes anything that's not right in the world.


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