Monday, January 23, 2017

What A Week!

Before I was diagnosed with diabetes in May last year, I'd been making little changes here and there, trying to cut out the incidental calories that I wouldn't notice. Starting with baby steps, since I could no longer exercise and diet they way I used to be able. Gently-Gently is the new approach to avoid provoking unnecessary MS relapses. One place I had never been able to make a change over all my years of trying to eat healthier was with cups of tea or coffee. Gradually, as I've lost more and more sensitivity with my taste buds my love for coffee has faded. There are certain brands/places I like to get it from still but even those I can only drink occasionally...and definitely before 10:30am or else I'm up all night. Cheap date these days, no more 3-4 cups of anything caffeinated. Whether it was tea or coffee, I've always had it with milk and two spoons of sugar. Have done ever since I was a child. But herbal tea I don't like sugar in it, go figure. So, after my surgery, I decided to cut it down to one and a half spoons of sugar. It took ages to get used to that. The transition from one and a half to one was a little shorter. But final transition from half a teaspoon to none was even longer. And then it seemed like all of a sudden it was done. I've even realised I can't drink skim milk anymore as it's way too sweet and gives me wicked heartburn.

Not that I drank a lot or often before, but I don't like much soft drink anymore either. And if I do have some it's a small glass. (Still can't stand diet drinks either!) I'm assuming it was my body subtly telling me to knock off the sugar content as my pancreas was working over time to deal with it all. I'm down to one cup of tea per day now. So for Christmas, Santa put in my stocking some loose leaf tea to go with my personal teapot I already owned, and a tea ball spoon for the days I don't have the luxury of enjoying the whole tea brewing process. Screw tea bags, I'm gonna enjoy my beverage of choice!

I also transitioned to a higher seed, lower carb bread and that helped...I'd always eaten healthy breads but I looked for the brand which kept me satisfied the longest. I made sure we put as many colours of vegetables on our plate as we could at each meal and same with fruit, tried to vary things up. Once I was diagnosed, all those instinctive changes made sense. And since my diagnosis, I've moved even further away from the low-fat way of eating that I used to follow. It worked for me then, when I was fit and active, it doesn't work now. My blood sugars spike too high. I need less carbs, more healthy fats, and more fibre.

We also switched to eating off bread and butter plates (salad plates) as we realised most plates these days are restaurant sized. We realised it after Nan died and I was given some of her plates, then when we put them next to modern crockery, we were shocked at just how ginormous modern dinner plates are in comparison.

During my placement last year, I did the best I could by taking a lunchbox which helped with portions and avoiding buying stuff from the canteen. That last push to finish the course, plus Alaskaboy studying as well, getting ready for Christmas, and with my Mum mostly recovered from her hysterectomy she had to go back full time to work to train up her replacement for when she retired, all of this combined put me all out of whack. I was exhausted. No! We were ALL exhausted. We still hadn't recovered by the end of the first week of January and my weight had crept up another couple hundred grams and I swore I wasn't hitting 117kg again. Certainly not getting back up to 119...or heaven forbid 120kg! Enough was, once again, Enough!

We knew what we had to do, but we couldn't get the mojo going to organise meals and shop properly, so we weren't always prepared as we should have been. Oh! We were also breaking in a new housework schedule too now that Kiddlywink is old enough to help more difficult tasks than simply clearing her plate and sweeping the floor..which is great in some ways but also means more brain power used by me since neither KW or Alaskaboy are good at keeping a schedule. But it beats me nagging them all the time, now I can say Look at The Schedule!

So I did my research and I found Sarah Wilson's I Quit Sugar Website. I don't know if I'll ever follow her with any sort of zealotry, for starters fruit has too much else going for it that balances out its sugar IMHO, but I'm certainly taking what suits me and my lifestyle from her principles and using them to teach all of us a better way to eat and cook. Diabetes runs in Alaskaboy's family as well, and he's very guilty of secret eating and late night sugary binges because he forgets to eat often during the day, or eat regularly, or enough volume when he does eat. (He also has ADD and his meds require enough calories or he'll be skin and bones eventually, but he needs the RIGHT kind of calories rather than straight up sugar all the time.)

With my taste buds already wanting more savoury foods I assumed that I'd be okay with this transition. I wondered if just getting the books would be okay, but I remember how much easier life was when I was on Lite'N'Easy and took the need to plan meals out of the equation. I discussed it with Mum and Alaskaboy. Dad didn't care as he has Chron's and is sorting out his own dietary stuff too, so Mum could do what worked for her too. During that discussion we decided to go halvsies in the cost of one of the 8 week courses to see how we liked it. It includes a shopping list per person (which was easy enough to multiply), meal plans, a community etc.

So we did our research then went shopping for all this fabulous food last Saturday, and have been learning a whole new way of eating this week. But on Sunday...the neighbours cut their shoulder high grass and all of a sudden we were infested with cockroaches and a pair of mice! So, this week we've ALSO been desperately cleaning the whole kitchen and everything in the pantry, cupboards and drawers in stages, after catching the mice and laying traps for the roaches. It's amazing the sheer amount of stuff two families can cram into one kitchen! Alaskaboy has done most of the cleaning himself because Mum and I were only able to help so far. And Dad has been out the back painting the fence we share with the neighbours on the other side from lawn mower guy! So it's certainly been an interesting week with all this chucked in on top of regular daily life stuff.

One thing I didn't expect was to not want a snack. That's right for the first four days I ate no snacks, not morning or afternoon teas nor evening snack! How? I reckon I need to answer that next time. This is already long enough, and I'm tired from the typing and thinking. Catch ya later!

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Change Is A Given.

In 2015 I found out one of the reasons my PMS was so extremely intense all those years, it turns out I had a septated cyst on one of my ovaries. We waited to see if it would naturally resolve but by the end of the year it had only gotten even bigger. So in January, 2016, I had my whole ovary and the cyst removed. It was massive. I spent several months recovering from that, and then also during that time I had a sebaceous cyst removed from my back. Mind you I was also trying to study a course at TAFE during the first half of the year also. I ended up having to defer that until later in the year because I'd already been struggling with the workload but then on Mother's Day my Nanna almost died from Sepsis.

After somehow miraculously surviving that, Nan was put into a rehab facility. This rehab facility mismanaged her care and when she came home at the end of May, we ended up taking her straight back to hospital 2 days later. She spent more time in the rehab place but eventually at the end of June she was transferred to a palliative care place. Five days after that, she was gone. She truly was at peace at the end and ready to go. I miss her terribly, but I was glad we had those two months to process the reality of her passing, say goodbye and start the grieving process and move into acceptance. She had such a beautiful passing. I know this because I have a friend who works in an ER so I believe her when she assures me of that fact and I was also one of the few lucky people that got to be there with her when she died.

During the course of her decline, I was feeling very tired. Even more tired than MS or sleep apnea or caring for Nan would make me, so I went and had a full check up. Turns out I am now Type 2 Diabetic. And at that time I had a fatty liver. (From all the meds I'd taken post-operative recovery.) My GP and my diabetic nurse fully believe it was the stress of that whole period..surgery plus emotional crap that tipped me over the edge. Because up until then my blood sugars and cholesterol and everything had always been picture perfect. Fatty liver is now back to normal thankfully and last year I worked really hard to get my diet as good as possible.

At the start of last year I weighed 119.45kgs. A lot of that was due to the chaos the cyst was causing in my system. By September I had gotten down to 113.60 kgs. Unfortunately, once my coursework and placement started back up in earnest..I gained three of those kgs back. I am HIGHLY pleased however that I ended the year at 116.45kgs.With a shit of a year I still managed to learn heaps about myself, successfully pass my course, and lose a bit of weight in the bargain.

This year to get myself back on track and remember what I had learned, and provide a little structure that my mum and I need and education for Alaskaboy about what's a better way to cook for me I needed something both informative and easy to follow. So I did my research and then Mum and I paid half each in an 8 week I Quit Sugar program, which we started last Sunday.

More on that in another post. In short, I'm back, baby! Anyone miss me?

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Satan's Arsehole.

Satan's arsehole couldn't be hotter than the hell I just went through.

Over the years I've regaled you with stories of some of my spicier adventures. Those that haven't heard it secondhand have witnessed how much I like spicy food. And know the fact that I'm up for some serious mucous membrane searing action if there's enough money or kudos up for grabs. They talked about that Dave's insanity sauce hot wings challenge for YEARS after that 4th of July BBQ. I ENJOY wasabi by the tablespoon with sushi. Habaneros and Wiri Wiris etc anything up to about 400,000 scovilles I have both enjoyed and been tortured by over the years. And I've never had any come back up, instead it all went out the way Ghandi's Revenge (as Billy Connolly calls it) should, in a southerly direction. I know to draw the line at Ghost peppers and have no intention of trying a Carolina Reaper, unless it's seriously tamed.
In short, I like spicy food.
Tonight, I had a simple Mexicana pizza from a local pizza shop, and I struggled to finish my second small slice. Soft drink, garlic bread, nothing helped this sucker go away, except time. It was that sneaky hot too, that you think you've stopped before it got too bad, but it only got hotter and hotter for a good half an hour afterwards.
This is even with some of my tastebuds and pain receptors compromised by MS-induced numbness!
And then like a fool, I believed all was well. I feel like the ignorant sucker who innocently stood there and watched the eerie phenomenon of the waves silently retreating out of the cove..not understanding the full terror that was rushing towards me all too quickly
I'm betting most of us have regurgitated in our sleep, either through over eating or drinking or illness. Or know someone who has or can at least imagine what it feels like. It's never pleasant at the best of times.
Now, imagine your stomach has happily digested just about every part of this aforementioned pizza from hell, and anything else you ate prior to that EXCEPT a few stringy bits of stuff and the chilli oil slick that was floating oh so innocently on top of your stomach acid.
Stay with me....you wake up with that oil slick coating every mucous membrane in your throat, mouth, nose and sinuses....as you desperately try not to breathe it back into your lungs.
Yeah, painful, right?
In desperation, I asked Alaskaboy to grab me a bucket in case I didn't make it, and then I ran to the bathroom and vomited up as much as I could into the sink. After rinsing my mouth out, thinking it would help bring up whatever was going on in there, I drank about 500 mls nice cool water.
It only made it worse. It didn't dilute the oil, it simply increased the surface area the damn slick could spread out over and tenfold increased the number of tsunamis I had to endure surging up and out.
The chilli queen has been deposed by two small slices of pizza. Oh, the embarrassment!

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Princess Awesome!

I would love to spread the word of this great project far and wide...unfortunately I don;t have a big readership.
Anyone willing to spread the word about cool, non-traditionally patterned clothing for girls?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1317679660/princess-awesome
Kickstarter project ends in 9 days from today.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

PMS eating.

I've learned to look at my PMS eating as hormonal driven. Even doctors look at an upswing in calories..even as much as double or triple the amount..during a certain hormonal phase as normal. BUT the key factor I'm learning recently is that it's not a license to Eat All The Food In The World.

Breakfast:
Then: large bowl of cereal with sugar, 2-4 slices buttered toast with toppings, large mug milky tea with 2 heaping tsps sugar
Now: 1 egg and veggies and reduced fat feta baked in muffin tray, nectarine, all bran with milk no added sugar.
Lunch:
Then: Stopped at fast food place on way home
Now: tinned fish(either tuna, salmon or sardines), avocado and salad sandwich with salad on the side

PMS-induced eating in the afternoon..over a period of about three hours.
Then:Chocolate bars, yes plural, and gummy lollies by the bag, 1 bag doritos/chips.
Now: 1 sliced banana, 3 chopped dates, chopped walnuts all mixed together like a salad with 1 laughing cow cheese wedge on the side.

Then:Full box of Vita Weets, each biscuit smothered in butter and vegemite or topped with 250g cheese and tomato or 250g cheese and about half a cup of mustard pickles
Now 3 cruskits with 30g cheese divided between them plus couple of tsps of strongly flavoured African-style pickles, 4 vita weets with 2 tsp butter and 2 tsp vegemite.

Then: 1 full large pita bread smothered in peanut butter, or mayo, or butter, 1 full large pita smothered in butter and jam, which I rolled up like two long souvlaki. Made it easier to shovel in my gob.
Now: 1 full large pita cut in half, half of one half smeared with peanut butter, half of the other half smeared with jam, rolled up like two sushi hand rolls, which means the filling flavours and moistens the bare bits of the bread..

Then: 1 full can of tinned spaghetti, with 2-4 slices of buttered bread
Now: half a can of tinned spaghetti (Which surprisingly I left two spoonfuls in the bowl) and two slices of bread smothered with light cream cheese.

Then: 2-6 large mugs of tea, or soft drink, or both. Half a litre of milk.
Now: water, or milk, or herbal tea..to thirst.

So...I'm still eating what my hormones are telling me I need, but far better portions. I stopped when I was satisfied. I'll eat a dinner of chicken stew with leftover roast veggies. Before I wouldn't have been satisfied until I was stomach achingly full, and probably gone on to eat double portions of the dinner. I don't know if I'll snack in the evening or not, but if I do it'll again be enough to satisfy but not overwhelm.
Before I would have carried on eating like that right up until my period started, so a period of 7-10 days, whether I really needed to or not.  Now, I've noticed it's more likely to be 3 or 4 days where I have the urge for more calories..and each day tends to follow its own distinct nutritional pattern: carbs and fat, oily fish and calcium, red meat and leafy greens, chocolate. The order of the days during a cycle can change though.
Learning, learning, learning.
I'm curious to see how the volume/content will change in another twelve months or so.


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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Something made me ravenous.

Free from thoughts blurted out onto the screen. Will edit later.

I was very hungry yesterday afternoon

some of it comes from the exercise I've done the last few days, while eating reasonable amounts of food. I think it's my body syaing Wait what, hold your horses nellie, are we in famine mode or not?
The other part, as I discovered in bed last night, was completely emotinal.
Yesterday when I was fixing the girly's hair, I made a few frustrated grunty noises and raised my voice a bit and told her to sit still.
She got all grumpy and basically told me I sucked, in 5 yr old I don;t wanna do this speak.
I said you're so lucky. When I was a little girl my mum would have behaved very differently because she was frustrated.
What would she have done?
Well, I said, she would have done this, and I slowly, using the plait I had hold of as the handle for the motions, very gently and slowly moved her head back and forth far enough that her body moved and swayed a bit, and hissed through my teeth Will you bloody sit still or I'll give you something to cry about! And then I explained that my mum would have shook me harder and faster. Or she would have smacked me and told me to get over myself. or..and I gave several more examples.
Then, across from the dining table my Dad says, “Yes, that's how it would have happened, you're lucky your mummy is your mummy.”
And mum pipes up from across the table, in a hurt/sarcastic tone that still insisted what she did was acceptable, “And you mummy obviously still remembers it vividly.” or something along those lines.
And I'm kicking myself for what I said next, “But, mummy was also behaving a lot worse than you, crying and yelling and whining a lot.”
AS though my communicating to my mother that she was hurting me with the way she was brushing my hair was unacceptable. As though I agreed that what she did was acceptable.
Guess what, it fucking well wasn't!
So, I wasn't true to myself, I didn't honour my emotions, I lied to my daughter, and I made her think that I thought it was okay what my mummy had done to me, will she think I'd do that to her at some point, the threat of violence? All because I wanted to not hurt my mum's feelings or deal with the fall out of communicating with her further on the matter, especially in front of KW.
And my body knew before my brain and heart did that I'd done this to myself and KW. And thus I ate to avoid those feelings yesterday afternoon.
I understand being frustrated with your child to the point of wanting to do those things. I understand that I've hurt KW's feelings as well when I've yelled at her or had a tantrum too. I understand WHY my mum did it.
I'm hurt that she still can't acknowledge that it just MIGHT have been unacceptable behaviour and a bit over the top.
I'm trying to be a better person. I acknowledge when I've hurt someone. I admit I've done the wrong thing. I explain to Kw that my emotions were so big I didn't know what to do with them other than have a tantrum. It doesn't always help the person I've hurt to recover from that hurt. But, sometiems, it does. Denying I've done any wrong and implying it's their fault because fo their behaviour..the good old two wrongs make it right crap...that creates more hurt.

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Thursday, October 09, 2014

Still Learning!

Turns out I over did the time at the zoo earlier in September. No, rephrasing that, I expended too much energy at the zoo. I didn't rest enough. I walked too fast. I forgot that I'm a disabled person. I had a LOT of fun though! But, I triggered a relapse. Thankfully, it was a mild one. I have pins and needles in my arms and legs that come and go now. My Neuro wasn't happy with how much MS activity I've had this year, so I'm waiting to hear back when they can fit me in for a full spinal MRI as well as my annual brain one. SO not looking forward to THAT!

On the positive side, I learned a lot from that trip to the zoo. So much that when I went to the Aquarium a couple of weeks ago, and the Werribee Open Range Zoo this week, I took a walker with me. It used to be my nanna's, before she transitioned to a wheelchair, but it's now mine. I can lean on it when I need to, so I'm not fighting to hold my upper body upright while walking on uneven ground. I can sit on it whenever I feel the need. I even use it to carry my handbag/backpack and drink bottle. Alaskaboy even pushed me up the steep ramps on it, rather than head a long way back around to certain elevators.

It's a little depressing to think of how I walked 10km the other year, but a least I'm living in the now. Working with what my body will let me do and learning to respect it and embrace what I still CAN do. SO, I'm thinking thre'll be more walks in my future. I'd been dreading the increase in the heat, but I reckon, as long as I don't overdo it, the walker will help me increase my activity level, and allow me to sit on something in the shade along the way.

Kiddlywink also loves going along for a ride on it too. She'd missed going out with my nanna on it, now we can all go. Someone pushing Nan, me using the walker and all enjoy the lovely walk.

I've even learned more about food and my body, but that's for another post. :)

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Monday, September 01, 2014

L Plates!

I feel like a learner driver. I really have no idea how to eat like a normal person. As a child and teenager I was a competitive athlete so that always made for bigger meals than other kids my age. No way to gauge what is a normal portion, for me, anyway. I know how much my sister-in-law eats, but she's very petite and weighs about 45-50kgs...so again no comparison. Kiddlywink eats intuitively, we've made sure to teach her that. Her appetite ebbs and flows and I'm learning from that how some days I'll be hungrier than others and less so other days too.

Last night, I was really struggling with appetite. I'd eaten delicious meals that used up all my points, but within two hours of eating dinner I felt hollow. That kind of light hollow feeling when I've been out in cold weather all day and want something warm and comforting in my belly. But we'd been out in the sun, had a picnic, gone shopping and had a delightfully warm last day of winter. Sure the wind had been a little chilly at times, but we'd dressed appropriately.

But there I was, still feeling hollow.

Next thing I know Alaskaboy is rummaging in the pantry. I'd eaten a banana five minutes before and it had instantly vaporised, leaving my stomach feeling even more hollow. The herbal tea went the same way. Then he articulated exactly what I was feeling. "I've had cheese and crackers, and now I want nuts and seeds, but I really want to devour the bacon that's leftover from breakfast in the fridge." I waited a few more minutes, because men often have bigger appetites than women, but the hollow feeling got worse. Then I began to feel yuck.

I looked back over my tracker, and sure enough, I hadn't eaten much protein. And no green smoothy for afternoon tea, even though I'd had eaten my fruit and salad with various meals, rather than drinking them. I hadn't eaten the nuts though.

I ended up eating three full rashers of bacon, a little piece of steak, and finally a hot chocolate, when that didn't settle my tummy. (I waited many minutes in between each snack to make sure I was still hungry before eating the next thing.)

Then of course the binge-eater in me wanted to keep going: cheese and crackers, noodles, nuts, the rest of the bacon, but I hung on and kept reminding myself to feel what my tummy was saying, Warm. Comfy. Had Enough. Satisfied.

SO, now I've learned that,  FOR ME, three hours sleep lacking plus a day in the fresh air equals Hunger. True hunger and next time I'll make sure to space my protein across the day and allow a bit more of that than the carbs that I seemed to want during the day. Combine the slow burn of protein with the quicker energy of complex carbs to satisfy my body. And have some warm 0 point soup for in between, help remind the tummy it's full.

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