Thursday, July 21, 2011

Picking Up Another Thread

Oy, it's hot.  I waited until the sun was almost set to do my daily walk, and it was still 90 degrees.  But it was good anyway.  I dream of summer eight months of the year, so despite the heat, I was happy to be cruising the neighborhood on foot, among thousands of blinking fireflies.

You know what else makes me happy?  Coming home 45 minutes later, back into the AC, splashing myself with water and chugging a glass, and stripping down to my bare essentials.  What?  I've got curtains and I know how to use them.

Getting back to those loose ends I referred to the other night, you may recall that I've been kicking the refined sugar for the past couple months.  That continues to go well.  I've been over the worst of the cravings for a while now.  Psychologically, it's taken longer.  I've realized that part of who I am, my identity, is someone who likes to bake.  I'm the one who would go home on my lunch break and bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies from scratch to share when I got back to work.  Baking is something I've enjoyed since I was 10 or so, a creative outlet, something that sparked my senses, something I was good at and appreciated for.  And the icing on the cake, as it were, was that I enjoyed eating what I made.  Winning!

Except not totally.  It wasn't very kind to my body, the high carb load I dumped into it on a regular basis.

Let me pause here to say that I don't want to come off like some sanctimonious air-breather who's all of a sudden got the answers.  I don't.  I really detest that sort of preachy condescension.  I'm just talking about my own experience and realizations.  I haven't had a heart attack or been diagnosed with diabetes or anything like that (though I have a strong family history of both).  I'm just a soon-to-be 51-year-old who is open to doing better.  One shot is all I get in this here vehicle. I'd like it to last me a while without rusting out so fast.

I do feel great (not that I really didn't before).  Maybe lost a few pounds, but I don't own a scale.  I will say thank goodness for those baggy capris I walked in tonight.  Gotta love that air flow, if you know what I'm sayin'.

As an offshoot to lowering the lid on the sugar bowl, I've gotten curious about other nutritional matters as well.  I've recently done a fair bit of reading about paleo/primal eating, added new words to my vocabulary like FODMAPs and fructans, and discovered the fresh hell exercise known as Grok squats.  I hope my thighs will thank me later, but right now they're saying WTF?  I'm learning that saturated fats are not necessarily the evil enemy, and that the Food Pyramid we have been force fed may not be the holy grail of healthful living after all.  Oh, and all that sitting?  Not good at all.  One more reason to get up from the sewing machine, walk over to the ironing board, and bop to the music while I'm there.

In short, I want to continue to learn more and endeavor to eat better and make conscious choices.  For me that means less processed foods, less refined carbs, emphasizing protein, veggies, some fruit, and yes, fats.  Some days will be more successful than others, but it doesn't really seem that complicated overall.  Of course, it's probably easier to say that now while it's prime produce season.  Ask me how it's going in six months.

And lest you think I've taken to dragging my knuckles, gathering nuts and berries (though I do intend to raid my neighbor's mulberry tree, with his permission), this was tonight's dinner.  

Basically, it's taco salad: ground turkey with spices and salsa over a bed of greens, hold the fried tortilla bowl and cheese.  Sorry, but Pioneer Woman I am not, with the food photo.  Dollops of fresh guacamole in lieu of salad dressing, and topped with fresh cilantro from the backyard wheelbarrow herb garden.  Mm-mm good, and pretty normal, no?


Elizabeth said...

I admire you for treating your body right. Good for you! I've been thinking of ways to improve in how I take care of my body too, so I'll be checking out all your links.

Also, LOVED the bunny photo. I'm so sorry he ate your zinnias. They are one of my favorite annuals -- so pretty and bright. Wascally Wabbit!

xo -E

Sarah Craig said...

Well, P., I must say that getting off sugar seems to have colored up your rhetoric a little bit!! I giggled through most of your post - never heard you talk quite like that before!!! Having just polished off my first yogurt in quite a while, I am feeling a little sisterhood with you right now. Here's to good eating! Lilli told me the other day that she needed to eat lots of fruits and veggies so she could find her muscles again... ;-)

Pokey said...

Very Good for you, and preaching you are not, just the facts, ma'am. (Do not look down below my computer screen to see my Doritos crumbs, okay?) oh, sorry you lost your zinnias to those cute little rascals....

Kay Lynne said...

Your salad looks yummy! I don't think you're preaching. We all want to be healthy for our love ones. Being there for people is what life is all about :)

thea said...

Congratulations! I just wish I could do as well. As a 52-year old I should take some tips from a youngster like you! Was there a reason you decided to get off sugar?

Bending Pins said...

Yay, good for you, you seem to really be doing well with the Paleo lifestyle! We've slipped a bit but after vacation, plan to get back on it! Remarkably, my hip and leg pains have completely dissipated since we've been on vacation!

Shay said...

I take my hat off to you P. I have an anxiety attack at the thought of giving up some of the things I adore to eat. Im not so much a sugar monster as a chick who lives solely on protein and carbs.

I'm waiting for summer fruit and then I'll consider this healthy eating stuff again.

Good on you though! Tea last night looks pretty darn good.

Michelle said...

Looks delicious! Of course, you already know I am a lowish carber. That said, with the move my diet has been taking a back seat. I'm looking forward to regaining some control over it.