Tag Archives: health

Low Carb Helps

I’m a week and half in to my LCHF eating, back on track after months of not worrying about my diet.

10 days.

My acid reflux is gone.

My mood is significantly better.

My menopause symptoms are gone.

I’m thankful for all of that. But the biggest change is in my ankle.

It could just be time after cortisone a month ago, but I think it’s more than that.

My ankle was impinged. Doc said he couldn’t say exactly why, but we were going to try cortisone and if that didn’t work we’d move to exploratory surgery. My ankle is filled with hardware so MRIs can’t tell us anything.

The cortisone made a HUGE difference, but I still had to wear compression socks and boots.

Last Saturday I noticed the pain was gone. Yesterday I had full ankle mobility for the first time in months.

I’m not a doctor, but it’s pretty great that I feel better across the board AND the inflammation in my ankle is gone.

I have an ugly relationship with food. Low Carb helps with that. Hopefully this helps even more!

Oh Sugar

My name is Mary Beth Lee, and I’m addicted to sugar.

I THOUGHT I could handle it. Just a little, what would it hurt?

Processed sugar doesn’t work like that for me. (If you’re one of those people who can eat anything without consequence, I hate you. Okay, not really, but seriously, that is so not fair!!!!)

If I smell processed sugar, I gain ten pounds. If I eat a bite, well, that’s a joke. No way am I eating a bite. I don’t even understand how people do that! DH can keep a pound of M&Ms by his chair and not even blink. If a pound of M&Ms is by my chair, they’re gone in a day…or two…maybe three ( hahahahahaha! a pound M&Ms for three days. That’s a good one!) No way are they sticking around for weeks. It’s like this voice in my brain clicks on and says, “Hey, if you go ahead and eat them all they’ll be gone and you can get started on your low-carb lifestyle again.” AND even though that voice has been lying to me for years, I DO IT. I actually believe that’s the answer. At least in the moment. Afterwards I wonder why I didn’t take the junk and dump it. And then I usually eat something else carby because hey, I’ve already blown the diet to hell, so why not?!

Story of my life: Me VS processed sugar. And if I’m not vigilant, sugar wins every time.

I know I’m not the only one who faces this issue. Every time I post about it on Facebook a ton of people comment. If you face this issue, too, I highly recommend The Atkins Diet book. I’ve added fruit to the mix right now. We’ll see how that works. I’m hoping it helps kick the processed sugar cravings.

The Girls in the FamilyIn the meantime, I’m going to think about my family. We took this photo one night while DD was visiting (from 1300 miles away! BOOO!!!). My mom, sister and niece were here, too. I was sooooo good at eating right and drinking water while she visited. Water is key, too.

Do you have to stay away from processed sugars? What are your tricks to staying healthy? Any foods you recommend? Feel free to share in the comments!

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Low Carb: How It Works For Me #MyWANA

Several people have asked how I’ve stuck to low carb for so long.

This is what’s worked for me.

imgres-1First, I purchased the new Dr. Atkins book. I read the entire thing before I committed. I wanted to know what the steps were. The book changed my thoughts completely. When I got it, I thought this was a diet. It’s not. If it’s a diet, you get the same results as every other diet. You’ll lose a ton and then gain it back. This is not a diet. It’s a lifestyle change.

If you’re like me you’ve spent years gaining weight at the scent of cookies while friends and loved ones could eat what they wanted in moderation. From reading the book, I learned the idea that weight loss isn’t exactly one size fits all. I finally understood why it took me hours in the gym to lose weight on the traditional low fat diets, and I understood part of why I suffered with cravings for years. There’s a reason we’re the most obese nation in the world even though we’re inundated with lowfat options everywhere.

Second, I followed the induction phase one plan religiously. This is the only way to break your body from its addiction to sugars. Read every label carefully. Fillers are everywhere, especially in meat. LABELS are important! Plan on lots of fresh food, but no sweets. Not even fruit.

Phase one is HARD at first. But it’s so worth it. You’ll feel better, and you learn to  really listen to your body about food. It’s easy to binge on a bag of potato chips. Not so much a block of cheddar. 🙂 Speaking of binging, a lot of my weight issues are mental. I have serious food problems. Anyone who can gain and lose 60 pounds in one year more than once in a decade has something other than food problems going on. I’ve starved myself so often over the years that the binge mentality became my norm. Some of you will relate. For instance, before my low carb lifestyle I’d buy a bag of M&Ms for the family to share (HA!). Those M&Ms would call my name until they were gone. No one else in the house cared about those M&Ms, but I DID. And after I ate them all in less than 24 hours, I HATED them and myself.  I’d swear to “be good” the next day only to binge again. It might be a month later, but the binge would happen. Guaranteed.

Since March 2012 I’ve binged twice: once on green beans and once on spinach. That’s makes me laugh when I write it, but it shows how ingrained my issue with food is. I remember exactly what happened with those binges and how crappy I felt afterwards and how I realized my food issues were bigger than food. I’m careful with both veggies now because I know they can trigger a binge, and even though that kind of binge won’t result in weight gain, it’s still an unhealthy behavior.  The good part of this is two problems in over a year. Pre-low carb, it was two a week.

After phase two, I quit following the Atkins plan word-for-word, but I’ve maintained my weight loss for several months by continuing low carb. My keys to success were and still are bacon, eggs, heavy cream, butter, coconut oil, almonds, almond milk, olives, pepperoni, cheese, cream cheese, cauliflower, spinach, flax, Atkins bars and protein mix. If I’m hungry, I can always make a protein smoothie, but be careful. A lot of those mixes are FULL of carbs.

Be super careful about eating sugar-free candy. A lot of it is made with sugar-alcohols, and while they don’t count as carbs, your body can process them like carbs. I found that other than Atkins bars, sugar-free candy made me crave sugar. I do use Splenda. I know the research says to get rid of it, but I haven’t found anything else that tastes right in my coffee.

I’ve added berries to my diet and I’ve started doing Pilates. My next goal is to add a cardio workout because I know that’s important for heart health.

Since dumping sugar, starch and flour from my diet, I’ve felt better, looked better and had more energy. I no longer crave carb-laden foods.

One more bit of advice: Pinterest and Google are your friends when it comes to great low carb recipes.

This is what worked for me.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.#

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Why I’m not anti-Obamacare even though I know it won’t solve all the problems

LoveToday’s my husband’s birthday. He’s 49. He’s rarely sick. He’s self-employed. He pays taxes. He makes a good living.

Several years ago the cost of adding him to my insurance quadrupled, so he got his own insurance, which he uses rarely. Over time that policy continued to escalate in price so he upped the deductible. It’s now $10,000, and he pays thousands of dollars a year for that coverage just in case. He rarely uses the insurance for anything other than a yearly physical. In fact, in over a decade, he’s used it three times, two of those last year.

Before he upped the deductible, he had a kidney stone. We thought he was having a heart attack and called an ambulance. We were young and didn’t know better. I think it was over a decade ago, but time gets fuzzy. That was the only time he used the insurance for anything other than a physical until last year’s kidney stone episode. We knew what the problem was and went to the ER on our own. The ER nurse was awesome, kind and helpful. We saw the doctor for all of 30 seconds. He told us my husband had a kidney stone and walked out. We paid over $2000 for that ER visit. Over $1000 for the 30 second doctor’s diagnosis. The trip to the urologist was cheaper.

He’s had a kidney stone since then, but he chose to self-medicate and get through it on his own instead of going to the doctor.

In the last year he’s developed reflux. Last night that reflux turned into something awful. I looked up the symptoms online and have a pretty good idea of what’s wrong. We’re going to try diet changes first. If that doesn’t work he’ll have to break down and go to the doctor. And that trip to the doctor will break us even though he has insurance. Insurance he pays an arm and a leg for. Ridiculously expensive insurance that is still cheaper than putting him on my state teacher insurance policy.

I realize Obamacare isn’t the answer, but it’s at least an attempt to fix a problem that exists with our current system.