Climbing Back on the Horse

Click for Image SourceWARNING: This is going to be a very long entry.

Alright folks. In interest of full disclosure, I tumbled off the horse on Saturday and hit the ground running towards gastronomical debauchery. Yes; I was running pell-mell, arms flailing about, into the embrace of my old friend, Mr. Junk Food. I have climbed back on the horse today, not entirely willingly, but knowing it’s what’s best. I (and my diet) have survived this foray into fattening foods, so I figured I would share some insights that I gained through the experience.

Reaction vs. Response
Whether or not you believe it right this moment, you will probably mess up big time with something in your life, at some point. Well maybe you won’t. You’re probably perfect and incapable of such gross oversights. Well… I’m not. I am perfectly imperfect and I’ve screwed up so many things in my short 27 years, there’s probably a trophy for me out there somewhere. But you know what I hate screwing up? Diets. I hate falling off the band wagon because it’s so hard to get back on.

Why is this? Two reasons: food and failure.

As far as food goes, it’s fun to be bad, and that’s why most of us are here, right? Too much of a good thing. If you have issues with food obsession like I do, you are very concerned with experiencing flavors, textures, sweet, salty, rich, creamy and fluffy. Fluffy soft breads and pastries are what got me here in the first place.

And failure? Failure is realizing what you’ve done and burying yourself with the shame of it. Failure is a lack of willingness to pick yourself up and dust yourself off and go back down the path to health and wellness. Failure is accepting your mistake as your reality. Failure is embracing the behaviors that destroy as a lifestyle, and not a temporary state. And boy, oh boy, have I been there.

One of the first things that Leslie shared with me at our many meetings was a list of things that “naturally thin” people do or believe. One of them was this: No freaking out over diet mistakes. Start over tomorrow, and get really strict to make up for a day (or three… eep!) of bad eating. Keep an eye on the scale, and let it tell you how your body is reacting to your food decisions. Don’t get upset. Just respond accordingly.

See… there’s a huge difference between reacting, and responding. My awesome Aunt Janet,a life coach, taught me that long a go. The definitions really lay it out for you:

re·act
1. To act in response to or under the influence of a stimulus or prompting: reacted strongly to the sarcastic tone of the memorandum.
2. To act in opposition to a former condition or act: composers who reacted against romanticism.
3. To act reciprocally or in return.

The underlying tone here takes the power away from the individual doing the reacting. Almost as if they’re completely impulsive with no self-censorship.

re·spond
1. To make a reply; answer.
2. To act in return or in answer.
3. To react positively or favorably.

I love that number three has the word “react” in its definition. The word respond suggests thought, much more so than react does. So my advice is this:

Respond to your mistakes, don’t react to them. Learn from them and decide what your next move will be. Don’t let your mistake, or your emotions related to that mistake, decide for you. Today is a new day, or heck, tomorrow can be the new day you need. Just remember to decide.

The Body Knows What’s Up
So you know what happens when you try to eat terrible food after eating such a clean, restricted list of foods for so long? Nothing good. Just take my word on that.

Click for Image SourceYou Can Go Home Again
Maybe this is the wrong way of looking at it, but Ideal Protein feels like my “home turf” right now. IP has been very, very good to me. I’ve lost almost seventy pounds since the end of May (5/22/2011) and I only have about thirty more to go.

Ideal Protein won’t judge you. It won’t tell you you can’t come back until you’re perfect. It won’t tell you that the stuff you ate the day before is completely unforgivable. Ideal Protein will be waiting there, patiently, if you made a mistake. (Or several mistakes, as the case may be… ehem.) It will, however, make you hungry for the first few days, since you probably threw yourself out of ketosis.

You know what? Worth it.

Almond Milk Battle Royale

Okay. So I have a little secret – I include almond milk in my routine like a madwoman. No, you won’t find almond milk anywhere on the acceptable foods list, but if you’ll notice, you can have one ounce of fat free milk per day.

One. Ounce. Um… Hello? I like my coffee to be something other than tar, thank you very much, and while I can rough it through a cup with only one ounce of milk in it, I surely can’t stretch one ounce of milk out over more than one cup. But there’s good reason for the limit (nutritional information below for one serving of nonfat dairy milk):

Serving Size: 1 cup (8 oz)
Calories: 90
Total Fat: 0g
Total Carbohydrate: 12g (0g fiber)
Protein: 8g

As you can see, dividing that by 8 would mean only 11.25 calories, but you’re still getting 1.5 grams of carbs… in one ounce!!!

Coffee = my sanity, these days. Whether you think that’s right, or that’s wrong, coffee is a good percentage of my blood stream people. And my friend, who heard me complaining about the amount of carbohydrates in milk, said, “What about almond milk?”

Now my immediate response was, “Yeah… they’re all flavored and even the plain kind has like 8 grams of sugar, right?”

Well, my sweets, let me just tell you, that all almond milks are NOT created equal.

My first contender is pretty tough to beat. Let me introduce you:

almondbreezeunsvanilla

Blue Diamond Unsweetened Series. There’s a Chocolate one that I have not yet tried (and I’m not sure I’m interested), but for what it’s worth, both the Unsweetened Plain and the Unsweetened Vanilla have the same stats.

Serving Size: 1 cup (8 oz)
Calories: 40
Total Fat: 3.5g
Total Carbohydrate: 2g (1g fiber)
Protein: 1g

Almond milk is not a good source of protein like real milk is, but look at the carb drop! With the gram of fiber, you only have one blood sugar affecting carb in there… so each 1 ounce “serving” is 1/8 of a gram of carbs! Sure you’re getting a little bit of fat, but fat is not our enemy on this diet. Do I think you should drink 2 or three full cups per day? No way. But wait… there’s more.

While cruising Target with my kiddo tonight (my mecca), I stopped at the new grocery section. Some locations have ‘em, and some don’t. Our local Target JUST got a “full” grocery section put in. I was looking in the refridgerated  “alternative dairy” case – and voila!

silkpurealmond

Serving Size: 1 cup (8 oz)
Calories: 35
Total Fat: 2.5g
Total Carbohydrate: 1g (1g fiber)
Protein: 1g

Not only are we losing 5 calories and a gram of fat, but look! The total carbohydrate and dietary fiber grams are the same. This means that there are 0 carbs in this beverage that will mess with your blood sugar. It’s practically a miracle.

The best part? The Silk almond milk tastes creamier and feels thicker to me! How does that work?

Double check with Leslie, or your own nutritional advisor on Ideal Protein, but she gave me the go ahead. Including unsweetened almond milk has not been adversely affecting me on this diet. Cheers, and happy coffee drinking!

Article: “How Much ‘Beauty Sleep’ You Really Need”

Via MSN.com

Do you guys get enough sleep? Between taking care of my family, my 40 hour per week job, and getting ready for our first home purchase, I’m stretched from end to end. I’m lucky if I can get to bed by 1:00, and I have to be up by 8:00 AM! This article says 7-8 hours is the minimum… I can feel that I’m surviving on a minimum sort of level.

Did you guys know that not getting enough sleep can impact your weight?

“Get enough sleep and your hunger hormones — leptin and gherkin — are more likely to remain modulated. The result? A lower risk of weight gain.”

Also interesting, and directly related to our goals with Ideal Protein:

“Adequate sleep lowers your risk of having less stable blood sugar levels, so you lower your risk of diabetes.”

Make it a goal to get to sleep and get that 8 hours!