Category: Recipes and Ideas
It's great to have a gluten free Thanksgiving to attend, now that most of my siblings and parents are gluten free, and great cooks. I am thankful for that, but ready to wait another year for another feast like that. After a thorough stuffing for Thanksgiving and never wanting to eat so much heavy food ever again, I've been pondering my past successes and failures...as I've had quite a bit of both.
In summary, I discovered BTD in 1999, and lost 36 pounds of unhealthy weight on the basic O diet (as well as losing chronic sinusitus, chronic back and joint pain, panic attacks, and recurrent infections).
I then started a family and gained 40 pounds with my first pregnancy. This was a more healthy weight gain, not full of toxins like my initial weight, and after weaning my baby I lost it all and more before my second pregnancy with the O-nonsecretor diet. Looking back at pictures of myself, I was almost waif-like. I could never be a waif, too much gatherer in me, but this was close.
Same weight gain with my second pregnancy, but more trouble consistently losing it. Life became more hectic with two kids and the economy was not helping. I did get a good start on it once, or twice, or thrice, but always failed to stick it out when the going got tough. I fell into my traps of negative thinking and stress eating, and skipping meals and sometimes not caring...
Now things in my life are far better than I expected and I have no excuse to not take care of myself, plan meals, and avoid cheating. My kids health challenges have improved and they are back in school and liking it. They are old enough that I don't have to be taking care of them every minute of day and night, I can usually get enough sleep. The pieces of the puzzle are all on the table, I just need to put them together.
Well, I have one more puzzle piece to send for, with a salivary secretor test to mail out tomorrow. My blood test said I am a secretor, but my first saliva test said non-secretor. Apparently the saliva test is more accurate, but I'm going to send it in one more time to remove doubt. Where that puts me as genotype, I'm not sure, but I know I can follow any of the genotype diets and my SWAMI doesn't change much either way. I'm actually hoping I'm still a non-secretor because I'm used to it and it works. There are some non-secretor foods I just love.
Here are the things that are common when I am successful, the keys to success:
1. Fresh Lemons... so useful for making healthy drinks and salad dressings and many other recipes. Much more tempting than a bottle of lemon juice.
2. Prepped salad and raw vegetables at the ready (preferably prepared by hand, for better taste, nutrition and because they stay fresh longer)
3. Fruit and other convenient snacks (like portions of nuts or pumpkin seeds that are easy to grab) SeaSnax roasted seaweed is wonderful to have on hand and great for satisfying cravings.
4. Meal Plans
5. Snack Plans
6. Schedule... no skipped meals, regardless of how crazy a day is.
7. A fresh supply of homemade almond milk (or the best version of any milk your type is allowed). This is great for cravings for something creamy, easy to add to tea and whip up in the blender instead of desperately seeking chocolate.
Wow, can't believe how long it has been since I blogged. About the time we started moving into our own place. A happy time, nonetheless, stressful. Not as stressful as moving into a relative's basement two years ago, but despite getting rid of a ton of stuff then, we still have lots of stuff that needed moved again.
I still have boxes and boxes to unpack and pictures to hang. Now that my kids are back in school, and happy about to be there, I have a little more time to breath. The beginning of the school year was rocky, as my son still gets sick and tired very easily, but things are stabilizing and improving now. He still goes in for Neuro Modulation Therapy from time to time, and that has accomplished a couple more miracles this month. He used to have no energy to play after school, but now he just keeps playing all day long and is even starting to do chores. They go to a Montessori charter school, where there are really learning to take pride in their work, and that is carrying over to home. I'm so happy about all this that it almost brings me to tears to think about it. (I don't see a crying and smiling emoticon, or I'd put it in here).
My compliance hasn't been ideal through all these changes, but it was improved enough to maintain my June losses. Now I'm on fire again, and so is my new Traeger grill/smoker. It was getting hard to figure out what to make for dinner, especially in the protein department, but now it is fun again. I made a delicious London Broil last night (more like a big thick steak), I marinated it in olive oil and ume boshi plum vinegar and seasonings (ok, I'll admit, there was some A1 in there, which isn't ideal, but isn't as terrible as most sauces). I browned both sides, then turned down the heat to smoke (about 200 degrees F), and basted it with the marinade every so often. It took about 2 hours for a 1 1/4 pound cut. It still had some pinkness in the center, and wash quite tender. Even my youngest (an O) loved it, and it it so hard to get him to eat beef. I'll have to repeat that meal. I made salmon burgers for my As. I had more of the steak for breakfast today, with some baby portobello mushrooms and eggs. I've also cooked Alaskan salmon, shrimp, halibut, asparagus, summer squash, red peppers, and all-beef natural hot dogs. They were all better on the Traeger, although I haven't perfected their recipes yet, they still have some room for improvement before I describe them or post the recipes. The halibut was pretty good, but I rushed it and I think it would have benefited from a little more time on the smoke setting.
I was having a hard time figuring out what kind of grill to get, Gas grills don't always get the right flavor for me and the flare-ups are a problem, I don't know or want to know what is in charcoal (I know you can buy mesquite charcoal though) and I wanted something easy to light so I'd use it more often. Then I discovered Traegers with their all-natural-wood pellets...it's easy to light and use like gas, but gives a great flavor, with no chance for flare-ups because the flames don't touch the food (it has a fan to circulate the heat). I got the smallest one because it was about the same price as the gas grills I'd had my eyes on, and it's plenty big considering I don't have to move the food around on the grill to cook it right. (I'm not being paid or given anything by Traeger to write this in my blog, I'm just a normal customer).
I'm still doing SWAMI, even though I have yet to re-confirm my secretor status (blood and saliva tests didn't agree, so I'm going to re-do the saliva test). Oddly enough, my SWAMI doesn't change much whatever my secretor status or genotype. A few neutrals I don't care for much anyway will come and go, but I will re-confirm that and get it all finalized soon. So it's kind of a type O thing, with very little dairy, no sugar, and of course, no gluten. I've done BTD long enough that I know in my heart what foods are good for me individually, as long as I avoid the junk I will naturally gravitate toward those foods. I no longer have my heart set on being a certain type, I'm me no matter what type that is. All three genotype diets did good things for me, as did both the type O and O-nonsecretor diet. They all have delicious choices. I'm not going to get hung up on what I can't have, when so many things are good for me. I guess I've come to a certain acceptance of my own individuality, I remember really not wanting to be a gatherer or an explorer, hunter seemed fine, but a B type seemed best, and that was never gonna change. Now I'll just give my body the fuel it needs, and not care what others "get to" eat.
Since returning from a vacation last weekend, I'm happy to report that I've only had 3 bites of avoids in the last four days (usually a bit of something with sugar in it). On busy days, it is helpful just to have some veggie sticks in baggies for snacks. My biggest food challenge is to snack on healthy foods often enough that I don't get too hungry to prepare real foods for meals. Roasted pumpkin seeds are another great snack. Sometimes though, a glass of water is all I need.
I've owned a soymilk maker for a while, and I've used it to make almond milk, which worked. However, for Thanksgiving I needed to make some at my mom's house, so I made it the old fashioned way. I soaked the raw almonds for 12+ hours, then blended it in the blender (1 cup almonds with 2 or 3 cups water), then filter and squeeze through cheesecloth. It ended up tasting so creamy and sweet, way better than any store-bought or machine-made almond milk.
I've made some real progress this week in the area of planning meals and sticking to the plan. I did all my shopping for the week on Monday, with a plan in hand, and have stuck with it throughout the week. Some unexpected things came up today, so I guess we'll have the tacos and quinoa tortillas tomorrow instead (I made them, then had to run out for a couple hours so we all just ate on the run instead. At least I got to run into Chipotle, which has tasty and compliant foods if I order right, and I did with a dairy-free barbacoa bowl). There have been lots of leftovers, which takes care of lunches and even some breakfasts, and plenty of vegetables. It's been a good week. It is nice to do something nice for myself and my family at the same time.
Just make up a plan that sounds good and compliant and don't second guess it. Write it down, shop, and just do it. I have had to run to the store for a couple fresh things, but not as much as usual, and that saves money. I've also been trying to not let healthy food go to waste...follow through with cooking and eating those veggies so that hopefully the produce drawer will be empty by next Monday.
I talked to my sister-in-law about how she lost a lot of weight. She's not on BTD or anything, but ate the same things every day and nothing more, with absolutely no cheating. These things were simple, easy and predictable. So I'm trying to come up with a similar plan. I like to mix things up, and try new recipes and foods, but I've been very lacking in the routine department since my second was born. Giving up eggs as an explorer made it harder, because those were my breakfast routine for oh so long.
The benefits of a routine are that it doesn't require much thinking or advanced planning, just toss the same thing together. In the long run, it's healthier to mix things up and get more variety, but routine is my weak point, mixing up is my specialty. The point is to avoid skipping meals or being low on vital nutrients, that helps avoid cravings and cheating.
The mush in my last blog is my new breakfast routine. I sometimes chop a whole apple into it, instead of apple sauce, and grated apple would be great in it too. It's filling enough on its own, but adding some natural turkey bacon or a vegetable on the side is always a nice touch. I could probably add whey protein powder to it, but I prefer to save that for a smoothie. If I feel bored of mush, my second option is salad...it's great at breakfast time.
Lunch routine is tougher, as I usually have a pretty late breakfast. Lunch is a good time to chop up some raw vegetables and maybe cook a turkey or bison burger. Fresh mozzarella makes a frequent occurence at lunch time. I can snack on the veggie stick later in the day if I crave something crunchy...raw kohlrabi, raw turnips, radishes, they're all good.
I don't do any real major cooking until dinner time. I don't really need a dinner routine for that reason, I'm usually more organized by dinnertime and can make a healthy dinner with veggies and salad.