After having toyed with this idea for a long time, I think it is time to jump into the deep end of the pool. Food, perhaps no other single thing is as important as the food we eat. There is no shortage of ideas as to what diet plan is best and worse for losing weight, maintaining weight, fueling yourself and gaining weight. The only thing I can say with certainty is that no matter what a certain doctor, nutritionist or even the federal government tells us, there is not a one size fits all answer to this. Instead of saying that there is I’m just going to review where I am and what seems to be working for me and maybe over the next few weeks to share some recipes and foods that I really enjoy.
Where I am and how I got here. As I have told you all in the past, I used the HCG diet to lose an incredible amount of weight. After that I followed a (sometimes) healthy diet but struggled with a couple of issues. The first one was I still wanted sweet things and managed to convince myself that I could sneak several “bad” things in because of my physical activity. This worked as long as it was rare but the problem was I would soon find myself eating those things almost daily and the weight would creep back. The second thing was my healthy diet would often leave me weak and struggling after a long run or hard workout. Maybe this was a way for me to justify those bad foods I mentioned earlier or maybe it honestly was just my body needing more energy than I was giving it.
After my heart issues over the summer I found myself once again gaining weight and ballooning back out due to lack of activity. Now, between Dr. Rogers and Dr. Berry I find myself on a new diet plan that seems to be working to not only control my heart but also helped me lose weight and is providing me with energy as I am increasing my running. It is a fairly simple plan to follow so I figured I should share it in case any of you are interested. As with any other diet, the key truly is consistency.
The first thing, and this is very specific to me because of the arrhythmia, is no caffeine, none, notta, zilch. No morning or evening coffee, no sneaks to Starbucks, no 3 AM pick me ups, none. After not having any for a couple of months I started drinking a little during hunting season and after a couple of days I was greeted with the familiar skips that told me it was time to stop again. I still drink coffee because after all the years of EMS I actually like the taste of it but these days it is 100% decaf. For anyone that is ready to stop reading right now, again, I am pretty sure you can still do the rest of this and be just fine unless you also suffer from bigeminy, non conductive PJC’s in which case trust me, cut the caffeine!
The second big thing is sugar, as in the absence of it. Yes, I just went there, low carb. No sugar, no or limited starches which means potatoes, breads, pastas and the like are all gone. I am finding that there are still many foods that leaves for me to enjoy but between the sugar and caffeine restrictions I am really starting to be a fan of diet root beer. I am sure that if I were a purest on this diet I would probably lose that too but a man has got to do what he has got to do! While I can still enjoy many veggies and fruits, my goal is to stay below 50 carbs a day which means that bananas are a no no and apples and oranges are limited, can anyone say hello berries? The surprising thing is that there are some very innovative recipes out there using strange combinations of foods to make things like pancakes and breadsticks that use NO bread, flour or starches and they actually look and taste like they have them in it!
The trade for the lack of sugar is increased fats, things like meats, cheeses, olives and nuts to name a few. I can honestly say that I feel full from a meal that includes these things along with a good portion of green, leafy veggies. And I am also finding that my energy levels are not slumping in the least! If anything they might be slightly higher than they were before. And then there is the weight… Since early September I have lost 45 pounds and am now in the smallest waist size I have worn since I was in 10th grade. Including the earlier weight lose the magical ‘lost half of my body weight’ is almost a reality.
As the running increases in preparation of the up coming Oak Barrel Half Marathon I find that it is still a delicate balance between foods, exercise and medication. To much food equals bloating, not enough equals weakness; to much pushing can still cause some skips, not enough pushing and the work out does no good; too much medication and it keeps my heart rate too slow but not enough medication means the skips again. All in all it is just another chapter in this winding book to fitness.
Stay tuned in, I’m thinking of putting up some recipes soon and more information on places to run in the Tri-Cities and Knoxville.