Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fumbling through The Plan

I wanted to give an update about my LoveHate relationship fumbling through the plan. I don't know the best way to journal it for you, but I'm going to try.

Day1: Hated it! Flax Granola was soggy because I did it wrong (don't double the recipe) and put almonds in it which I wasn't to do until day2. Hated no salt! Bird seed diet. And pouted and sulked about it. Lunch and dinner were ok.

Day2: Hated it! BUT lost 1.1lb! So that was a perk! Flax was better because I corrected my error. Still a little chewy not crunchy. Had to go to a restaurant for lunch and packed my own food. MY tip for packing your food is to ask the server for a plate and as quickly as possible, get your special food on their plate. Then it looks like they brought you something special. I don't like sauteed Kale as an entree but celebrated Brown Rice. No salt was bugging me!
Also Day2 was a very high stress day and my emotions seemed toxic. I finally got my journal out and wrote out all the junk, very fast, sparks were flying. It felt so good. Induced a good cry. And I was able to hear God. I'm not sure if it was a symptom of the detox, life, hormones or worse, it just happened to be Day2 of the detox and so I'm reporting. But I muscled through.
It is interesting that if I hadn't been on The Plan I'd likely have taken those toxic feelings right to the bread and butter, chocolate ice cream or cookies, a big plate of pasta, etc. Comfort food does provide a short term comfort and when you choose to deny them, the feelings are not tempered down. You have to deal!

Day3: Still annoyed with it, BUT! Lost 1lb! Starting to feel better about it for sure! Introduced low sodium chick peas to my diet that had consisted mostly of rabbit food and bird seed, I mean-vegetable based whole foods. They tasted amazing! Chicken with dinner. And for all of my belly-aching, I already started adjusting to no salt! Friends! This-is-a-miracle!

Day4: Warming up to The Plan. Lost 1.4lb. Whaaat?! Liking this now. No reactions yet. And 3day detox is over! I do believe the detox to be the hardest part. Now I'm just testing. Hello GOAT CHEESE! Hello DARK CHOCOLATE (1oz). Never has goat cheese tasted so good to me. I had an ounce, which is actually a lot, on a salad with olive oil and herbs as only dressing and was in Heaven! My palate is so clean and neutral now, it's crazy! I was so excited to have dessert!

I FORGOT COFFEE! I am going back over things and realizing that Day4 I was also encouraged to add coffee and I didn't! Yikes! I'll be adding a bullet proof coffee in a few days. I found while on the Clean Program that abstaining from coffee made a positive difference on my cycle. So I actually don't want to add it yet although it's my favorite thing!

Day5: Gained .2lb Since I'm up that would be a reaction. If I only react that mildly then goat cheese to me is worth it! I realize this is not the most informative journaling of The Plan. If you're wondering what I'm eating, it's very similar to what other healthy plans recommend: Lots of fresh greens, lots of vegetables, meat is a very small portion (like half a chicken breast), grains are small and paired specifically with veggies, cheese very small (1oz). I drink half my body weight in ounces of water. Snacks are small and clean, fruit or nuts or something very light. If anyone ate like this all the time, I'm sure they would lose weight too without following The Plan, however, the magic of The Plan is that you are able to test foods with a neutral body chemistry to determine which particular foods cause you inflammation. Inflammation will show a gain on the scale and then you have the knowledge to do whatever you wish with. Here is what I'm NOT doing: eating or drinking anything past 7:30, which for me is the HARDEST PART! I haven't tested coffee yet. I'm not salting my food. I use kelp and dulse instead.

Day6: Lost .2, added Rye Crackers. Normally they taste like particle board but now with almond butter they are one of my favorite things. I ate great all day. We went to dinner that night with friends and I ate mostly to plan from the menu, had 2 glasses of wine, and a vegan popcycle. AND! all of this after 7:30 and not enough water. Loved every minute of it!

Day7: The same. No gain! No loss! So I know that if I don't want to gain weight, I have 1 glass of wine, not 2. I eat earlier. I bet the vegan pop was fine. And I'm not disappointed that I stayed the same.

So fast forward now. I'm starting to love The Plan. It's making a lot of sense. I've learned after checking in with my plan seasoned friend Sheley, that I can test the things I like, skip the suggestions that don't interest me and learn on my own. I followed the meal plans to the letter the first 5 days. I find that was stressful and I know that I could have used my own common sense and still learned and lost.

I'm continuing to lose tenths of a pound each day. I'm learning to enjoy the large portions of greens. I think I can do this for a long time. I don't feel like a slave to the scale. I don't want to react and gain, but it's going to happen, and it's merely information.

I hate that I can't eat or drink after 7:30 but I love how I'm feeling, looking and eating! And I forgot to mention that I haven't worked out once on The Plan, since walking my lazy dog doesn't really count.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Plan, Inflammation and Attitude

So, The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas, is an "eating plan" (code for "diet") that helps you determine which foods cause you inflammation, a response that contributes to not only weight gain but a host of other health issues. As you know, I am on a mission to reduce inflammation due to my brothers experience with quadruple bypass surgery back in March, as well as our family history with heart disease.

So yesterday was Day 1 of The Plan and so far it has revealed to me an inflammatory bad attitude towards food. Day 1 is a detox day of eating a lot of healthy whole foods. What's wrong with that? Well I'm learning that I don't like being told exactly what to eat, when and to limit my salt. I didn't think I was rebellious but I'm certainly feeling like I am. I have been talking myself in and out of following The Plan throughout the whole day, but.......

I did it! I muscled through Day 1, lived and lost a pound. I ate this for lunch:

Mixed Greens w/Pear and Pumpkin Seed, Steamed Broccoli, and Carrot Mocktail
It was decent. I won't lie and say that I loved it. It was decent. What I wanted to do was sprinkle a mini snow storm of Celtic Sea Salt all over everything, but I didn't. I'd love it all with plenty of Celtic Sea Salt on it. I have an old blog post devoted to the attributes of Celtic Sea Salt and why some nutritionists consider it a health food. Although I wanted to very much so, I complied. And lived.

So that lovely looking Carrot Mocktail is a tip/trick that really helped me out with this lunch. It's supposed to be "soup" but it's not my kind of soup. It's not creamy-boy was I tempted to pour a bunch of coconut milk in it, it wasn't fatty, and it had NO salt. I've heard from seasoned Plan followers that nobody really likes it. I would have followed this advise except that I had already made a huge batch of it in preparation since it comes up in several preceding menu plans. I had it in a giant canning jar in the fridge. I decided to add ice and some flair and just call it a Mocktail. I actually enjoyed it which I hadn't expected to since my initial taste test of the Carrot Soup when it was hot was, "Ew, Ick!" My thoughts are that the flavors improved from "marinating" in the fridge together, and good old fashioned pretend play made it much more enjoyable. Knowing this, I'll make it much spicier next time!

The recipe called for a "drizzle" of orange oil over the Steamed Broccoli, and by "drizzle", it they meant "douse" or "dunk", then I did really well with that! It's Extra Virgin Olive Oil with fresh orange zest that's sat in there long enough to infuse good flavor. I took liberties to add a crushed garlic clove and some purple basil from my garden. Later I poured it through a sieve and bottled the oil. Please, I do so deserve a pat on the back for not putting a big pinch of salt in there. And I learned that there are amazing health benefits from citrus zest and will likely be using it much more.

Orange Oil
For dinner I had this:

 Kale & Shiitake Saute w/ Spicy Coco Sauce and Shaved Carrot Beet Salad
Surprisingly the star of this dinner is that vibrant salad of beets and carrots. It got a nice bath of Orange Oil and sprinklings of Kelp and Dulse Flakes which mimic salt. So YAY! Almost salty. The Kale was fine, the shiitakes were nice, and the Spicy Coco Sauce was fantastic because I amped up all of the spices it called for and simmered it forever! By "forever" I mean while I short order cooked another meal for TrueLove and Jake.

The challenge was getting all of this goodness inside me before 7:30. I really wanted hot tea at 7:45 and had a little pout about not getting to have a healthy drink whenever I wanted, but I did it! I finished the day strong! Understanding the reason I am doing this is to determine which foods cause me inflammatory reactions. Every body is different. I know-big revelation! So this "diet" ends up looking a lot more like a science experiment and the mad scientist of it all figured out that drinking after 7:30 taints the results of the experiment. (The people pleaser in me just thought that all of my natural weird food eating buddies would freak a little at the no drinking after 7:30 if I didn't explain.)

So far so good! Day 1 taught me that I have an inflammatory reaction to strict diets and eating plans. I am creative, I like doing my own things, I know a enough about nutrition to cop an i'manexpertiknowbetter attitude when new concepts arise (especially about salt and tea at night), and on a lighter note, I have much more self discipline than I thought. Also, that my health and fierce fight against inflammation have me convinced that the information I am looking for is worth the headache. ( I had a headache from lack of salt, I mean caffeine. I forgot to take Feverfew, the magic herb that prevents this.) Yes, worth the headache.

and for crying out loud! I'm making a big fuss out of a 3 day detox phase. And I'm already 1/3 done!!!

now for Day 2....

Friday, June 13, 2014


to my gorgeous & fantastic niece ISABELLA CASATICO
the stylish and fun-loving BAILEY VALENZUELA
to the uber talented and radiant KAI BAINES
to the lovely COURTNEY CLARK
to the smart & sassy JULIA FREET
my handsome & charming nephew THOMAS GILMORE

Thank you for sending us such fabulous pictures that we strung across our entry way. Each one is gorgeous and a reminder that you are all valued and worthy of looking up to!