Friday, March 1, 2013

Health Update

It's been a while since I blogged about my health or food. Sorry about that! I know I'm pretty inconsistent about when I blog here. But I had a really good appointment at my Endocrinologist last week, and wanted to share here about what changes I've made and the results.

Changes to my diet:
I have quit eating beef, been eating at least 5 green smoothies a week, and am still enjoying Meat Free Mondays almost every week (sometimes I forget it's Monday and then I do meat free Tuesday or what have you) Some weeks  I eat meat free several days a week, and when doing so I try to remember to eat whole protein sources. The dietary changes I have made have sometimes been sudden, such as quitting eating all the foods that came up on allergy and intolerance blood tests, and some have been more gradual such as reducing meat fat from my diet, and learning about healthy ways to eat more vegetables. Eating fruit has never been a problem for me. I love fruit, and if anything, I have to be careful not to eat too much fruit. I keep a close eye on my blood sugar when trying new things. I quit eating beef almost 2 weeks ago. So far, so good. Sometimes I have almost slipped up because I was not thinking about it and a burger seemed easy and sounded delicious, but then I remembered that beef is on my  list of things not to eat at all for at least one month. I had previously reduced beef to only being eaten every once in a while if I'm out at a restaurant, so remembering not to order beef when out is my new challenge. This week I started asking myself before eating cheese, do I really want this right now or is there a healthier replacement I could eat instead. Especially when I reach for an apple and cheese which I was eating every day for a while. Now I often eat an apple and peanut butter instead. Increased intake of cinnamon and sunflower seeds at the recommendation of a Natural medicine doc.

Changes medically:
I am no longer taking Lopid as it did not seem to be working. I also no longer take Glyburide as it lowered my blood sugar dangerously and was not helping anything. All with my Endocrinologists support. I am however taking Simvastatin (or something like that) and for a while had me on a 2nd cholesterol med as well but recently took me off that. I still take Metformin for my diabetes. He says it has also been shown to prevent some kinds of cancer, and since I have lumps on my thyroid, it's not good to lower those doses. I have been trying to do yoga every other day and cardio the other days, with Sundays off. I've started not working on orders on Sundays and only making orders 5 days a week, also. This means that on Sundays I still make something creative, but it's more enjoyable. I'm trying to figure out the best schedule for my health mentally, emotionally and physically. Time will tell, but full time work is still too much for me, that much is clear.

A1C is down to 5.6
Fasting Blood Glucose is usually 90 to 110 these days tho sometimes creeps up to 118 if I haven't chosen a proper "healthy snack" before bed
Cholesterol was so much better my doctor practically did a dance of joy and he took me off one of my cholesterol medicines to see what happens. I am hoping since I have been eating so well it will still be good.
Down from 245 to 229 since my last appointment
Down from a size 54 to 42 pants
Down from a 3x to 2x and sometimes 1x shirt

People have asked me why I am changing what I eat, "is it for health reasons or conscience reasons?" Really it is for both. Primarily, it is for health which has been my long time answer, but I am also very aware of the toll we take on the world around us, and believe that "every drop raises the ocean" or in other words, every baby step counts. So I have some reasons of conscience as well.  For example, by not eating beef and choosing to eat meat which comes from reputable sources, I am taking less of a toll on the world around me. I also am increasing the amount of attention I give to what I put into my body, and to me, this is an important part of improving my health and mind. Beef has been known to increase inflammatory response, and my body has a lot of problems related to inflammation, so I decided to try eating no beef for a month or two and see how my body feels. I suspect I will keep it up, or maybe I will only eat beef when it is a special cut of meat from a healthy, well treated animal or something. We will see. If I see health benefits, it will be worth changing for sure.

I have been watching the 2nd Forks Over Knives movie which is a bunch of interviews of experts which are about the health reasons to go meat free and which did not make it into the original Forks Over Knives movie, and it helped me solidify my decision to quit drinking milk and also reduce my cheese and yogurt intake. I watched the first movie some time ago, and have been gradually moving towards a diet free of meats and dairy since, but for me it is a slow change, not overnight. The second movie also made it clear that only 10% of my diet needs to be protein all of which can be found in plant sources which was a relief since I have been trying to figure out how much is enough. I highly recommend the movie, and their website has some delicious looking recipes I am looking forward to trying as well:

I am really happy with the results of my choices so far. I will continue eating meat at this point, but may switch to being on only fish, fruits and vegetables in the not too distant future. Time will tell.

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