working out

Working on Weightloss

The holidays are over, so I peeked at my scale two weeks ago and noticed I packed on a few pounds.

My game plan is to continue my vegetarian eating, but I need to eat fewer carbohydrates, especially non-whole grain choices. Too many desserts and white flour goodies passed these lips, and the scale shows it. I know my metabolism has slowed way down since I went off HRT two years ago, but sugar and white flour do it no good. I have stopped eating cheese as much as possible, and I now use a powdered coconut creamer for my coffee as well as ask for unsweetened almond milk when I get lattes at Starbucks. If you haven’t tried their new blonde expresso, you must. Almond milk makes lattes so creamy and foamy. My going toward vegan is to reduce inflammation, and I have noticed a big reduction after just giving up meat, fish, and chicken. However, going completely dairy free has been a process. I now use almond milk for cooking as well. I used coconut milk for the first time last night when I made lentil soup with a bit too much freshly squeezed lemon. It made even creamier than it was already as well as helped reduce the lemon.

I have also ramped up my workouts to include running on the treadmill. I started at 20 minutes and am now up to as long as 50 minutes. I am still walking dogs and am using the treadmill at least five days a week when I don’t let my lazy butt talk me out of it. After spending more time than needed, I figured out how to convert my audiobooks to MP3 files, and I put two on my waterproof MP3 player, so I have no excuse to not snorkel swim (swimming, dog paddling, anything to get across the pool with a snorkel mask as I can’t move my neck well enough to swim without it) a couple times a week). I added some arm and leg workouts on machines at the gym, too.

Although I was titrated off Lyrica a month after I went vegetarian, four months later, I have been experiencing pain in my hips when I sleep. I had the same thing before I was on Lyrica, which my doctor attributed to fibromyalgia, so I’ve started stretching my iliotibial bands. My IT bands have been tight for years, and frequent massages help, but now that I am running again, I need to do whatever I can to avoid pain. Lyrica helped with my fibro pain, but the point of going vegetarian was to reduce inflammation and get and stay off as much medicine as I can. I started getting Thai massages, which are even more intense than myofascial release massages I had. I know my going vegetarian has helped my body, from my head to my shins (all places I hurt when my fibro kicks up), but I need to avoid sugar and see where that takes me.

It has been two weeks, and I am slowly taking off the extra pounds from the holiday, but after working out tonight, I couldn’t help but dive a bag of spinach and kale tortilla chips, whole grain and certified organic, of course. You can get them at Costco and they are awesome!

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Healthy Eating · vegetarian · working out

Reducing My Inflamation

I have been off most animal protein for over four months. I still eat some cheese , but I use dairy-free cheese for meat alternative burritos. I don’t drink animal milk, but I do use half and half in my coffee when a dairy alternative isn’t available. I don’t eat eggs, but I do eat baked goods at times that have eggs in the recipe. I have been choosing whole grain when possible and choosing non-GMO and organic as much as possible. I eat lentils, brown rice, quinoa, and a variety of beans such as garbanzo beans and black beans. When I do eat out, I go to places that have choices for me such as a wonderful cauliflower pizza crust instead of white flour crust.   It has been a slow process, but I feel so much better, have more energy, have almost no headaches, have lost body fat, and my fibromyalgia pain is almost nonexistent.

My neurologist started me on this journey. I am now on fewer prescriptions (some for headaches and some for fibromyalgia), and according to the bloodwork my GP had done in December, my Cholesterol went from 201 to 143, Triglycerides from 155 to 152, HDL from 59 to 45, and LDL from 111 to 68. My GP wants me to stay on Simvastatin, but I convinced her to reduce it to every other day. I really want to go off of it.  Time will tell as I will have blood work done in June.

I have been dealing with bad headaches for seven years. I thought retiring would help because stress from teaching at the college level would abate. I have to also point out that I have TMJ (now called TMD) and fibro, both of which can cause headaches. My neurologist was treating the headaches, but I have noticed that other than jaw related headaches, I haven’t been having any. I know deleting meat, fish, and chicken from my diet has reduced inflammation, and I work very hard now to avoid anything that can add to that inflammation, including avoid highly intense workouts (I workout to get up a good sweat, but not wear me out).  I wear my jaw splint at night and now when I workout (I never used to wear it then). I have Baclofen now to relax my jaw at night and that itself may be why my headaches are down from seven to eight a month to one to three. And when I have headaches, I do more jaw stretches in addition to stretches I do for my jaw and my neck daily. I have gone off a few headache medicines and hope to not need more than Tylenol from now on.

As for my fibro, I find that when I am done working out, my muscles don’t ache like they used to. I am even running again, but slowly and only on a treadmill. I was taking Lyrica, but I went off it as the doctor suggested and pain in parts of my body did not come back as I thought after not taking it for a month. I have also noticed that when I do things like vacuum and even shovel snow, I don’t have pain for two days. It is AWESOME! I will continue to increase my workouts and start some strength training to see how that goes.

I am always going to be a work in progress, but going vegetarian and even vegan at times is my present and future.