Sunday, January 29, 2012

Promised results

I promised I'd tell you about how we did on the sugar handling diet.  Two weeks of whining (from me, anyways!)  Here it is.

We are still on it.  This is the end of week three, actually.  There were so many positive changes, we both agreed that a couple more weeks were indicated.  Hubby lost some weight....although he didn't weigh himself, he said his shirts were all fitting more loosely, and he was already getting some comments from others on that.  It is so nice when people notice!

He drives to work every day at around 5 AM, and had difficulty staying awake.  He leaves work at 9:30 AM and would usually stop for food and/or drinks (not healthy choices) on a daily basis, mostly just so he could stay awake on the drive home.  He reports that he no longer feels so sleepy and no longer stops for food or drink.  He also started bringing water from home with him, and makes sure to eat a hearty breakfast before leaving.  Some of the things he comes up with!  Lately it has been eggs scrambled with crumbled meatloaf and salsa.  He also keep plenty of boiled eggs in the fridge for quick snacks, and a jar of nuts handy.

He also says his thinking seems clearer, and he is enjoying this way of eating.  No more all!  I didn't have the same experience in that department, unfortunately, but I found I had fewer cravings if I ate more saturated fats.  My main source of saturated fats before involved grains, usually:  heavily buttered toast, bacon-feta popcorn, pie crust made with lard.

My results were rather interesting, too.  I usually had trouble getting up in the morning.....hubster called me a diesel....hard to start on cold mornings and slow to warm up.  I often slept until 9 or later if my schedule allowed, and still dragged around a bit until I had a good hit of caffeine.  Then in the evening, I had trouble settling down and would have half a glass of wine to unwind and get to sleep.  With my popcorn.

Almost immediately I started waking up between 7:15 and 7:45 AM, and would get right out of bed, without an alarm clock.  The dogs were so confused, I had to wake them up!  I had plenty of energy and would have to be careful not to do too much.  I work evenings most days and need to reserve energy, so I can't really hit the ground running that early.  I got a lot of reading and homework done in those early hours.

I would fall asleep at night quickly and easily, and stay asleep.  Instead of reading for 30-60 minutes after my wine, I read for about five minutes before I was falling asleep on my book.  Without having any wine.  Reaching to shut off the bedside lamp didn't wake me up again, either.  I went right into a restful sleep.

The most interesting thing for me, however, is something I was reluctant to tell but feel I must.  Somehow it is a bit embarrassing, and I'm not sure why.  Lately, I often had very disquieting thoughts come into my mind unbidden.  OK, disquieting is a mellow term.  Horrifying is a better term.  For example, as I crossed the yard to go feed the animals, my buck would stand up against the fence and greet me with a loud and demanding baaaa.  I would imagine him leaping over the fence and beating me to the ground with those huge horns of his, killing me.  Or I would go to hug my lovely does, and would suddenly imagine them dead, torn apart by coyotes.  Horrid images that came in quickly and were hard to drive out.  When snow was forecast, I would urge my husband to call out of work.  You get the idea. 

I didn't realize that these thoughts weren't there anymore until a few days ago when I was feeding the buck over his fence.  He got impatient with me and rammed the fence in frustration.  I laughed and told him to cut it out....then I realized that, even though he was now giving me a reason to have worrisome thoughts, I was only amused and had no fear.  Amazing.  All from simple, yet challenging, dietary changes.

Last Sunday, when the two weeks was up, I decided to add one item back into my diet, and chose aged homemade goat cheese.  That addition went well, so a few days later I had some popcorn, doused heavily with butter and feta cheese, and a half a glass of home made cinnamon-vanilla mead.  Heavenly!  But the next morning I got up when the dog needed letting out around 8:30, and laid down on the couch and dozed until 10 AM.  I finally had to get up and do chores, but I dragged until noon and didn't have as much energy all day.   It took another day on the strict version of the sugar handling diet to get me back on track.

That experience alone has made it much easier to stay on the straight and narrow.  My current plan is to stay on this for another week, or four weeks, before trying again to add carbs back into my diet.  I'll choose something smaller and part of a meal next time, instead of smashing my body with that hit of sugar all at once in the form of popcorn and wine.  Hubby feels so great that he has no trouble staying on this with me. 

How long will we stay on it?  I don't know.  It depends. .Each small experiment will tell us whether we've healed enough or not.  But we'll not ever be back on the SAD....the Standard American Diet.  Ever.

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