Thursday, January 5, 2017

Final Quarterly Check-in, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year!  And Happy Anniversary to Stan and me - married 6 years on New Year's Day.  This post is supposed to be about saying goodbye, as I only originally planned to blog for my year of health, then added quarterly check-ins to keep myself on the straight and narrow for another year.  (You'll see shortly that didn't completely work...)  However, I'll also let you know my ongoing plans for continued good health in the future - perhaps I shouldn't stop posting results.

In two years I seem to have gone full circle in some areas of health, and been more successful in others.  I started my "year of health" in January 2014, mostly to feel better, but also to look better and lose some weight.  Which I did.  I started 2015 at 145 pounds, saw a low of 128 at the end of the summer, and was back to 135 by the end of the year - not too bad - a ten-pound loss was okay with me.  But, today I weigh 144!  Right back where I started  😦  How did that happen?  I think mostly by turning my attention to other things and getting lazy.  I suppose my interest in cake-baking didn't help either.  We watched The Best British Baking Show and I went through a few months of baking cakes and some bread.  Delicious, but with only the two of us here, we ate a lot.

I also had two annoying setbacks.  I fell and broke a bone in the bottom of my foot in June, which put me out of action for the entire summer.  It really showed me how one moment of inattention can be dangerous - I'm very careful now about falling.  I also got a sore throat on the Tuesday of our week's cruise to Mexico - bummer!  It was still fun, but I didn't feel well and the coughing kept me awake at night.  How did that happen when I have been eating pretty well?  I started vitamin C as soon as we got home, but actually got sicker before getting well again.  Clearly my healthy habits still need work!

On the good side, I really have felt great.  No hip pain, which had been getting worse for years, and had caused me to limp a bit when I first stood up.  I credit my physical therapist, but also myself for actually doing the exercises and putting into practice what she taught me.  Today I still clench my glutes when getting up, bending over and walking uphill. 

I also feel stronger overall - credit goes mostly to Stan for dragging me to the gym faithfully, but also myself, for determining to make the most of the time I am there.  I focus on doing each exercise properly and I sweat a lot!  When my foot was healing I started warming up on a machine like a bicycle, only for your arms.  It's harder than it looks!  I'm still using it, and my arms have gotten stronger than ever.  In Mexico I actually wore a sleeveless outfit that I bought many years ago.

In between traveling and being sick we had some great family times.  We celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas with Tyler, Alethea and Mira and Alethea's family - we're so lucky to have great in-laws!  We also had a pre-Christmas celebration with both Tyler and Melanie and their families, when Melanie and Ben came up from Portland for a weekend.  We caught up, played a fun game (Telestrations) and ate great food, accommodating gluten-free, vegetarian, high fat/low carb and carnivore eating styles.

The Girls - Melanie, Mira, Evie and Alethea

So, how to continue improving my health in the coming year?  First, continue a few things I'm doing right:
  • I love my breakfast scrambles with veggies and they keep me satisfied all morning
  • I'm walking 30 minutes every day, and I mean every day
  • I still eat salad for lunch most of the time
  • Still take the vitamins I wrote about in 2015 and I have added calcium, per my doctor, and vitamin C
  • Stan keeps me faithful at the gym
Plus, shape up the rest of my eating!
  • Somehow bread, toast and English muffins have snuck into my day - quit it!  I'm going to bake paleo and gluten-free muffins.
  • If I buy any bread it will be sprouted grains.  (Did you know Whole Foods has already-sprouted grains and nuts in the bulk foods?  I'm going to learn what to do with those.) 
  • I'm drinking lemon juice with warm water or weak tea first thing in the morning, and only one cup of coffee, after breakfast.  This is actually okay - when I settle in with my laptop, I forget what I'm drinking as long as it's warm.
  • I'm going through my healthy cookbooks trying new recipes and keeping track of the ones I like (even better, the ones Stan likes too). I'll list some books at the end.
  • I plan to learn how to make nut milks and grow sprouts.  Also focusing on healthy ingredients like coconut milk, raw cacao powder and hemp hearts.  (Didn't know where to find hemp hearts and they practically leapt out at me in Whole Foods.  I love that store!)
  • My friend Marcia has been studying Juice Plus+ supplements.  When I see her later this month I want to hear about it.
  • No wine.  It's been two days now - we'll see how that goes.
  • And, okay, no guarantees but when I find or learn something really helpful, I'll write a post to tell you about it.  I'm not sure I have any readers left by now, but the posting helps me remember what I felt was important. 

Here's my new weapon in the fight against aging.  This green smoothie doesn't look too good but was actually quite fruity and enjoyable.  I have since also made a banana-nut smoothie and a chocolate-chia shake.  Yum!

Here are the books I'm using:
  • Everyday Detox, Megan Gilmore (The Detoxinista)
  • The Blender Girl, Tess Masters (just got this from library - lots of good info but a bit hardcore with unfamiliar ingredients)
  • Whole 30, Melissa Hartwig and Dan Hartwig
  • Heal Your Whole Body, Frances Murchinson (not sure about the science in this one, but she has a 12-day program to give your liver a rest, and I think mine needs one)
  • Stan just got Eat Fat Get Thin by Mark Hyman, MD from the library.  He was on TV and while mostly he was advocating eating healthy fat, he also mentioned potato starch as being good for us.  Stan does love his potatoes!
  • The Wahls' Protocol, Terry Wahls, MD  This is the book I trust the most.  Dr. Wahls was in a tilt/recline wheelchair with MS and did much serious research on diet as related to immune disease.  She now rides a bike!  Following her protocol would not be easy, but my goal is to incorporate as much as I can into my everyday habits.  (Tyler, if you see this, I suggest you borrow this book from me.)
 Well, that's it.  Thank you so much for reading and being part of my year (+) of health!  I love talking and learning about being healthy!  (It's so much easier than actually doing what needs to be done...)  If you want to chat and compare ideas or have a suggestion, don't hesitate to contact me!

Here's one reason for caring about this.  I have such a great family and friends, I want to be around and able to enjoy life as long as possible!

Evie with Mira (note the Christmas vest, shirt and gloves!)

My sweetie, Stan, choosing a hat in San José del Cabo