I'm spending today on my computer figuring out a meal plan for my family. It will be a blend of Explorer and Teacher, with my youngest on the explorer plan, and my oldest on the teacher plan. This was mainly my husband's idea because he is ready and willing to try the diet full-bore now, both for weight loss and long-term health. So, that's an opportunity I'm not going to pass up! He doesn't have very much weight to lose, but for a teacher, the long-term implications outweigh the weight implications when it comes to diet. That's the case for everybody, but O explorers tend to have longer lifespans than A teachers, so I want to extend his years (mine too, of course). From the Dr. Laura perspective, too, I need to be taking better care of him, food-wise. He often fends for himself while I scramble to make something for the kids and myself. That can be overcome with planning, and then executing the plan. Everyone in the family will benefit from that.
I have to say that I've had a good week diet-wise. I did an explorer cleanse, along with a couple days of vegetable and fruit fasting (eating just veggies and fruit). That got my appetite more in line, and made for a more compliant week. The explorer cleanse seemed to work a bit better than usual, sometimes I can't really tell a difference, it's so gentle, but this time I could tell. I'm in a weight-loss slump, however, and fighting frustration with this day of planning.
I'm also in a workout slump. I tweaked my rotator cuff (practicing break falls on the high school track pole-vault cushion). My doctor told me to take it easy on my shoulder, but I'm feeling the need to get some motion now that the soreness is gone. I want to get back to taekwondo next week. I meant to go back today, but it was a rough night at our house, so I didn't make it.
Anyway, lots to do...comparison charts of explorer and teacher food lists, and menu plans, with grocery shopping tomorrow.
Ok, if you had a frappacino yesterday, this may not hit the spot, but for someone like me who has never had one, never will, this is a good substitute...
Brew some Raja's Cup herbal coffee substitute, and make it strong. Filter and pour about 1/2 cup of it onto ice cubes (about 2 or 3 cups) in a good blender that can make slush out of ice easily. Add some vegetable glycerine and/or agave, or honey if you can have it. Add a tablespoon of carob powder (or cocoa if you can have it), a bit of milk of choice (rice milk in my case), and blend into a smooth slush.
It's a good way to break up your herbal tea routine.
I also made a winner of a recipe last week from Cook's Illustrated for braised lamb shanks. That was so yummy and fairly easy. I highly recommend their cookbooks. I tried a recipe from another source tonight for cornish game hen that didn't turn out so well and took twice as long to cook as it claimed. I think I'll stick with Cook's Illustrated...anybody need my other cookbooks?
I've recovered pretty well from that vacation, and have been feeling pretty good. My compliance improved dramatically, and is still steadily improving. I'm not 100% cheat-free, but getting there quickly.
I've been gardening. We planted snap peas, kohlrabi and green onions in my shared garden area. There are many more rows to go. As small as the garden looks, it sure gets bigger when you start working in it! My own backyard squares are doing pretty well too. The radishes should start maturing soon, the peas are still happily growing, and everything I planted is coming along pretty well. I planted some asparagus in most of the second box I have. I think it will do well. My new elderberry bushes seem to be establishing themselves well enough.
Taekwondo is also going well. I don't know if I'll ever get to the point that it never makes me terribly sore, today I am in such a sore state. My feet and ankles in particular...so many small muscles that I didn't know I had!
If I told you some of the things I ate on my vacation, you'd be amazed that somebody as sensitive as myself came back alive. Don't ask, don't tell. Road trips with the kids can be stressful, and this one was no exception, although it did end on a good note. We had some good days at legoland and my confidence in my mothering abilities was re-affirmed when I caught my son by his legs as he accidentally head-dived toward some concrete. He gets hurt a lot, just loses focus and falls or whatever, and I always feel guilty when I don't save him, but this was a pretty amazing save.
In any case, I'm ready to be super 100% compliant now. I would like to see some real progress before the conference. I'm thinking I can lose 10-15 pounds by then with high compliance, although the numbers don't matter as much as how I feel. After 24 hours home I feel pretty good, though I have some detoxing to do and a headache that comes around now and then.
For dinner last night, I made some lemony rice with great northern beans, a side of steamed pattypan squash (which my 6 year old actually liked), rotisserie chicken (a pretty compliant one, just some spices and salt on it), and a salad with apples and frozen pomagranate seeds (those are not so good, nothing like fresh, but on a salad, ok). I didn't have too much rice like I used to.
For breakfast I had cooked quinoa with a bit of glycerine and just a touch of maple syrup, with kumquats sliced on top and some licorice tea. It wasn't quite enough, considering that I went for a 2 hour walk with my son before lunch; I should have had some protein.
For lunch I had a repeat of last night's dinner, veggies and all.
I need to make dinner, which may be another repeat of last night's dinner, but this time with asparagus. I'm craving shredded beef, so I'll thaw out a grassfed flank steak to make tomorrow...maybe with some quinoa tortillas.
It's been a while since I outlined my health goals. After watching The Secret I set a goal to have perfect health, but what does that mean?
I'm not getting younger, but I have been getting healthier and don't feel older in many ways at all (in fact I feel younger and can do more than I could 10 years ago).
So here is a list of things to check off as I go, in order to have perfect health:
1. Dry skin and acne begone.
2. Smooth feet and hands.
3. Clear scalp (that's where most of my skin-based detox manifests)
4. No more need for thyroid meds (already reduced, but let's go a little further)
5. Improved digestion
6. Improved fingerprint ridge height and loss of white lines (part of #5, they go together)
7. Decreased sensitivity to environmental irritants and chemicals (though I'll still avoid them, it would be nice to not overreact when they come around anyway)
8. Clearer eyes, not dry or red, brighter color
9. Finally lose the baby fat from my second baby
10. Manage rhinitis better
11. Stop clenching my teeth at night
12. Earn a black belt in Taekwondo
13. Thicker eyebrows and hair would also be nice
Most of these things are already in progress, especially #1 with a bit of 6,7 and 8. Some are a stretch, and would be small miracles, but I believe they're entirely possible with strict adherence to the explorer diet.
Many of the above seem trivial compared to what I've already accomplished with the BTD in the last ten years. I initally lost 35 pounds, then lost it again and a bit more, after having my first child. My joints that once ached and often kept me in bed are now quite capable of doing everything they need to for Taekwondo. My eczema is gone as long as I'm good at avoiding gluten and dairy. I have far more energy, flexibility, and physical endurance. I no longer ever need antidepressants or antacids or acid blockers. My cholesterol and trigliceride levels improved immediately.
All in all, it's been a good ten years, and I'm hopeful to continue turning back the clock. Last year I had a bit of a time with rhinitis related trouble, but that is improving, and may always take some maintenance with the neti pot and quercitin nasal spray, and permanent dairy avoidance. If rhinitis is the only age-related scar I've come out of the last ten years with, that's pretty managable. I think I'm doing pretty well for an explorer and a celiac.
I met somebody I hadn't seen in almost 10 years, and she asked me what my secret was because I haven't aged a day in my appearance. I guess she's right. I didn't expect the question (those who know me know better than to ask me anything health-related), or I would have given her the answer, but you all know what my secret is.
With knowledge and proper nourishment, I can have many more good decades ahead of me. It's good to be an O, and it's good to be an explorer. Life is always life, full of opposition and conflict. It always has moments of pain, misery, doubt and fear, until the end, but life is still good. I'm thankful for the life that I've been given, the shoes I'm in, and all those who have helped me along the path.
Use the recipe below with discretion, but if you crave an onion ring once a year, here's your chance. I'll try to justify creating the recipe in this blog, but can't fully since we all know fried foods are bad for more than a couple reasons. However, since they taste good, and some readers out there may be underweight like my sons, and some others may indulge in avoids unnecessarily in seeking out fried foods, I feel I must share my recipe.
Some updates first though. Things are still going well for me. My weight fluctuates a bit as a lose fat and gain muscle, but I'm heading in the right direction. I love being able to do more and gain new abilities with training and taekwondo. My double kicks are getting pretty sweet, and when I started I could hardly jump and rotate my hips for a double, much less stick my feet out at the end. I'm just now starting to get some power into those feet for the kicks.
I finally got a secretor test sent in for my six year old. I've been exploring the thought that maybe he could also be an explorer. However, the test came back and he is a secretor, and as an A+ secretor, he can't be an explorer. I was hoping for some way to explain or address his allergies to dairy and eggs, which should both be good for teachers. The good news is that we don't have to take away his favorite staple foods, like soy and peanuts. Teacher children can have some trouble growing, as he has had, but he's been making good progress the last few months.
One way to get more calories in him is the Southern practice of frying just about anything. Today I even fried his sandwich... he wanted something new and his dad was worrying about him not eating enough, so I went a little crazy, in a good way. He ate it all; he was happy, I was happy, and his dad was happy...nothing resolves confict like fried food
I know, fried food is terrible, but it's so tasty and if there's a healthier version of it then it's a good recipe to put some weight on underweight kids. I buy Rice Bran Oil from Azure Standard, and a gallon isn't too bad... not near as cheap as ol' Wesson oil or whatever, but when you consider the difference in health-effect, it's very worth it. Rice Bran Oil ranks up with Olive oil for health benefits, but withstands much higher temperatures.
So...enough attempted justification, here's the recipe for the batter. It's milk free, egg free, and explorer friendly. The tapioca isn't so good for teachers, but to replace the egg that my son is severely allergic to, it's the best solution I've found thus far. For those who can have eggs, one of those should do the job instead of the tapioca, for those who can have milk or buttermilk, you can use that for the liquid.
1/2 cup Yellow Split Pea Flour*
1/2 cup quinoa flour (millet flour may work)
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 tsp baking powder**
1/2 cup or more of rice milk or liquid of choice, to bring it to a batter consistency that will easily coat whatever you desire.
spices of choice, a bit of lemon juice if you're frying fish.
*available from Azure standard and other places, or make your own from yellow split peas, garbanzo bean flour would work for those types that can have that, other bean flours would be fine too, but the yellow color is nice and the hearty-sweet flavor it provides is essential, IMO.
**see recipebase for corn-free baking powder recipes, it causes the batter to puff up nicely.
This makes amazing onion rings, chicken fingers, catfish, cod, fried mushrooms, veggies, whatever your tastebuds desire (personally, I can't wait for okra season). I usually do a bit of this and a bit of that to see what they'll eat. Just dip/dredge it in the batter to coat it and fry in pre-heated (medium or medium-high on the stove) rice bran oil. I, of course, have to limit how much of it I eat, and I've gotten better at that, I'm just happy to have just a little when I've gone so many years without any at all. I eat plenty of salad and fresh raw veggies or fruit before and after, to try and find some sort of dietary balance in the meal.