Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Surviving a Toxic Week

I have not posted in a very long time.  Sometimes life takes over and it takes a while to clear your head and come back to what is really important. 

I am once again, health-focused.  I've somehow managed to lose 15 pounds in about 7 weeks.  Suddenly my pants are baggy, and shirts fit better, and people are saying "what are you doing?"

The best compliment came the other evening when a gal I know looked me up and down and said "OMG you look so good!"  I was wearing a black tank that fits snugger than most of my clothes, and a pair of baggy pants with the waistband rolled over.  Apparently the look worked, as I got many compliments that night.  I must get more of those tanks...

So what AM I doing?  In the words of Kathy Freston, I'm "Leaning in".  I'm playing with veganism and vegetarianism.  I'm a "Flexitarian".  I'll eat what I want when I want, but I'll make conscious choices, eat wisely, and remember how certain foods make me feel so I can control my overall well-being.  If I choose to eat meat, I will do so in extreme moderation.  I have no plans to give up sea bass or mahi-mahi or tuna or crab or shrimp.  That will be my first meat choice, because well, I like it, and it doesn't make me feel yucky inside!  And sour cream.  Until I find a perfect non-dairy sour cream, it's still in.

I've eliminated about 99% of dairy.  Coffee and tea drinks are now made with soy or coconut based "milks".  I've eliminated about 90% of the meat in my life.  Surprisingly, this meat and potatoes girl hasn't had such a hard time with that one.  And I really have no appetite for most of what I used to eat.

I've been toying back and forth with all this for months.  What sent me over the edge was a wonderful film called Vegucated.  It did a wonderful job of walking one through the process of conversion and why it's important to overall health and well-being. 

After watching it, I had lunch with a friend at Chipotle.  I think we all know my love of Chipotle.  I looked at the meat in the trays and thought I was going to throw up.  Something in my brain had changed and I had no appetite for what I used to love!  I ordered a salad with no meat, but rice, black beans, hot salsa, and sour cream, and of course the dressing.  It was so good!  And I felt amazing after eating it.  I didn't feel bloated or too full.  So for the next three days I made my own version of that salad and pretty much lived on it. 

Next I began ordering my Tom Kha Tofu soup to be made with vegetable broth.  And I've tried things like veggie sandwiches, portabello mushroom "burgers", and other wonderful bean, tofu, and veggie things that I would never have tried.

Daiya.  I had read about it, but until I tried it I was convinced there was no good cheese substitute.  Love it. 

Caffeine.  I've pretty much given it up.  Have not had coffee in weeks.  Until yesterday.

In the last week, I've digressed.  It began with a bit of potato chips.  Then it was a sandwich with lunch meat (disgusting habit).  Then it was a bit of chicken, cheese, more cheese.  A cheese sandwich.  A veggie sandwich with cheese.  Eggs over easy with wheat toast bacon and home fries, cheese spread on crackers, prosciutto wrapped melon, spicy Thai shrimp, a double latte, and a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with fries.  Yesterday I was feeling yucky.  So I had the latte.  Felt nauseas.  So had the grilled ham and cheese.  By the end of the day, I thought I would pass out.  Headache, shakes, cold sweats like you get when you have a fever, and the stomach was so bad, I finally had to give into the nausea.  It was awful.  I was so glad that I was the only one left at work when that happened.

On the way home, I got my special Thai soup and rice, and steamed dumplings.  I had the dumplings (which do have a bit of chicken and shrimp in them), and a bit of soup.  Things started to calm down.  I laid down, sipped my sparkling water, and fell asleep. 

Today I woke feeling a little groggy but much better.  And I realized...I had inadvertently put myself into a toxic situation.  I realized that I'm not waking feeling crazy groggy and tired anymore.  I have more energy, although some days are more challenging than others, especially if I have a little wine or stay out late. 

I feel "clean".  I don't feel like my insides are fighting a constant battle with my outside.  And of course, I'm down 15 pounds.  I'm going to keep it up.  We'll see where this all leads.

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