Saturday, July 17, 2010

This is IT! Back to PaNu!

No more wallowing in my sugar coma.  I feel like crap and my West Texas allergies have started creeping back in (and people wonder why I welcome humidity so much).  I'm fat and bloated and insecure and bitchy and lethargic and achy and...well, all those things that sugar does to you.  It's amazing how different life is without sugar.  It's also amazing how we human beings keep doing stupid things that make us sick when we know it's making us miserable.

I've been following this eating plan for almost a year (Dr. Kurt Harris' PaNu blog, for you non link clickers).  Why did I fall off the low-carb, no sugar truck?  Well, that's what happens when you lose your grip and have an addiction and I'd venture to guess that all of us have that addiction here in the good ol' U. S. of A.  Think I'm joking or exaggerating with the word addiction?  Try giving it up for a week and you'll see what happens (yeah, first you'll make excuses as to why you don't want to and why you'd rather keep sugar in your life, then you'll ignore that uncomfortable feeling by eating a big ol' candy bar - when you love sugar, or ANYthing for that matter, too much to consider giving it up even for the sake of health, that should be your red flag).  Withdrawal from sugar isn't just limited to your mouth in that, "Gee, a piece of pie sure would taste lovely right now!" sort of way.  In my experience, it can be far worse than giving up caffeine, dragging a whole slew of nastiness along with it.  But, truly...once it's over...I swear, it's like a miracle.  That song, "I can see clearly now, the rain is gone..." comes to mind.  I'm going to get laughed at here, but I would venture to say that it's almost a spiritual experience.  One of my first remarks of wonderment when starting this way of eating was, "I'm finally the mom I always wanted to be."  Meaning that I was stable, level-headed, patient, not angry mommy, didn't have food obsessions anymore (seriously!!!), energetic and didn't need a nap at 3 in the afternoon.  Nevermind the weight loss (20 pounds in two months...effortlessly).  Oh, and yes, I did have a complete blood workup done and my cholesterol is fabulous with large, fluffy particles, thank you very much (did you know that cholesterol isn't the bad guy you thought he was?).

Good Calories, Bad CaloriesIf you've read this far, I'll leave you with one additional thought.  Did you know that in the absence of carbs, your body cannot store fat?  Go ahead and read that last statement again.  It's the insulin response caused by carbohydrates that tells your body to store fat.  Don't believe me?  Look it up and make sure to double check your references.  An excellent book...with a really bad title...Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.  If you think this is just another "fluff" diet book, it's not.  It's a history lesson and half of the darn book is his references to be checked out at your leisure.  He's done some interviews on YouTube that are great, too.  Definitely an eye-opening read.  Next on my book list is The Maker's Diet.  Very curious...

So, anyway, wish me luck.  The evenings are the hardest and I may resort to early bedtimes and lots of naps until it's over and I'm back in ketosis (not to be confused with ketoacidosis, which is something totally different).

Friday, July 16, 2010

A New Food Escapade

Anyone wanna make some tea?
Photo courtesy of "whizzy"

In my nearly obsessive desire to build up food stores for our family of four plus two dastardly felines, I have searched and searched and searched and searched for something that "felt right."  We're not motivated to do this for religious reasons, but we do value home efficiency and are of the mindset that if the "SHTF," we need to be able to take care of ourselves and others should they need it, as well.  I've done the couponing stock up thing (which was mostly chemical crap that we don't eat anyway).  I've dabbled in canning (which was fun, but I'm still not sure if it's for me).  I've considered buying cases of MRE's (quick and easy, but spendy and not as yummy as I'd like).  I've even dabbled a bit in food dehydration, but that was strictly for making venison jerky.  It wasn't until just recently that I rediscovered food dehydration and more importantly...how to use dehydrated food to create dishes of quality that we would actually eat.  We're big foodies in our home and feel that under normal circumstances, if it doesn't taste good, there's no point in eating it (and under dire circumstances, if we're in survival mode, some familiar and tasty food adds to some level of stability for all of us, reminding us that things WILL get better).  We avoid a lot of waste with this philosophy (leftovers are always good!) and we have a lot of fun together with food.  Our boys are quite adept critics and can pick out flavors (almost) better than I can.  So, yes, it's important that our food from storage is up to par with our daily cooking.  I am excited to give the food dehydration a real go and try to make this work for our day to day lives.  How nice would it be to not have to run out to buy lemons for lemon zest or tea?  How wonderful would it be to have potatoes around for the rare occasion that we do make a potato dish (remember, we're mostly low carb).  Another rare occasion ingredient is apples for applesauce.  We use tomatoes pretty regularly and having a store of dehydrated tomatoes that don't need to be used in a hurry for fear of rotting would be lovely.  Onions?  We use them daily.  Garlic?  Daily.  Hm...I wonder how dehydrated, dry roasted garlic reconstitutes?  I want to make my own soup mixes.  When we have company, one of my "go to" menus is classic potato leek soup and a traditional caesar salad.  If I didn't have to worry about prepping the potatoes and leeks, that would drastically cut my work down in the kitchen.  Dehydrated fruit would ensure that I would have something tasty for desert, too (apple or peach or blueberry pie or even toppings for ice cream).  Oh, and I would LOVE to learn how to dehydrate meat to add to things like split pea and ham soup mix.  Making my own herbal tea is high on my to do list, as well.  We have a ginormous honeysuckle bush right next to our house (okay, okay, it's ON my neighbor's fence) and each time it blooms, I eye it, knowing that I could use the honeysuckle buds for many things...

So, the thing that started all of this was my stumbling upon a particular YouTube channel.  Tammy at Dehydrate2Store.com is quite adept with all of this food dehydrating stuff and seems to be a natural teacher.  I love watching her videos, as she has clearly been doing this for some time and is confident and self-assured in the kitchen.  I've watched every.single.one. of her videos and have thoroughly enjoyed myself.  This seems like it's the right fit for our family's needs, too, and I'm so thankful that there are people out there who have, not only more experience with this than myself, but seem to enjoy teaching it to others, as well.  Even my husband is 110% on board with this and is currently looking at how to build our own food dehydrator (we have a round one, I'm craving an Excalibur, and he's feeling crafty LOL).  We're interested in seeing if we can take this food dehydration thing to a "gourmet" level.  If anyone has any input (if anyone's still reading this poor blog LOL), I'm all "ears."  Otherwise, I'll be updating every so often and hopefully with some tasty recipes using these dehydrated foods.

I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up!

Yes, after almost a year of blissful, energetic, illness-free, clear-headed, allergy-free, no more food compulsions living, I've fallen off the low carb, paleo truck.  Hit a bump and fell right off into a pile of devil's food and the glossiest homemade buttercream you've ever seen.



I am crawling in my sugar coma dreams after that truck that left me behind.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'm Just a Figment of Your Imagination...

What?!  You mean this blog isn't dead?!  Nope!  What happened?  My motivation with blogging ebbs and flows depending on how much I have going on at home, if we're traveling, how I'm feeling health-wise, and...well, you know how it goes.  Mostly though, when I start feeling obligated to blog, I take a break.  I'm not blogging for money, or trying to be the super-mommiest of super moms online, so...it's really unnecessary pressure on myself.  This is a nice release for me, though, when I don't feel obligated.  It's also worth stating that people interacting with me on this blog do not lead to me feeling obligated.  The feeling of obligation comes purely from myself and my issues with doing everything perfectly and routinely.  Sometimes with all of the other things that need to be done perfectly and routinely, blogging has to take the back burner.


Anyway...I'm feeling like a good mommy today.  An appreciated mommy.  Best feeling in the world.  I have to share.

The boys have been sleeping on crappy Ikea foam mattresses since we moved here three years ago.  They have the Kura loft beds with blue tents on top (they love 'em, but the traditionalist in me hates 'em LOL).  Nic has always complained about his back, but I always thought it was because he slept in the most bizarre contortions.  Regardless of what I chose to focus on, there was always a part of me that felt bad because I know that my back would ACHE like nothing else if I had to sleep on those things.  Seriously, they're like extra thick egg crate foam.  Part of my guilt comes from the fact that I sleep BLISSFULLY every night on a memory foam mattress.  So blissfully, we purchased another one for the RV and have had a memory foam topper on our guest bed since we first moved here (purchased while staying in military lodging while looking for a house to buy because we couldn't hack it on the regular mattress - this was just prior to Jesse's back surgery, though).  So, I finally broke down and purchased memory foam mattresses for them (Sam's Club online has them for almost nothing! Overstock has them, too!).  And "big boy," high quality flannel sheets, shams, and duvet covers.  Duvet covers?  Oh, yeah...for their new down comforters.  Yes, we live in West Texas.  Hush.  I bought them things that I, personally, love.  Yet, I let them pick out their colors and have some control in their own beds (I'm still doing lamaze from that release of control!).  It felt so good to finally do this for them and I wasn't expecting any excitement from something that I imagine is rather mundane for 7 year old boys.

But I have to say, the most rewarding sounds came from their room after I finished getting their new mattresses dressed up.  Laying there "testing them," they were full of giggles and wiggles and wide eyes and "oohs" and "ahhs."  They LOVE their new sheets.  They LOVE their new "cooshy" mattresses.  And it means so much to me that they let me know exactly how much they love them by running out with hugs and smiles and kisses.  Seriously.  What more could a mother ask for?

Oh, and they're stoked about their new comfy reading nooks.  Their old mattresses have been put on the floor beneath their beds and they're looking forward to putting a bunch of pillows and stuffed animals under there to make reading nice and comfy.

Happy, happy, happy.  :)

Stay tuned for our guest bedroom makeover.  ;)  Coming soon.
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