Saturday, April 16, 2016

Health Journey: Food Part 1

I have decided to share my health story for all to read. I just feel led to do this. If I could provide encouragement or help to anyone, well then...that would be the purpose of this story.

I know it will bore some, so when you see the title, then you can skip these posts. 

It will be a long post and at first few pictures, but I promise I am going to break the stories down and add pictures.

Starting with FOOD

Since the beginning of November, I changed my eating habits pretty drastically and to say I am a healthier person is truly an understatement.

Her is my disclosure statement: this is my story, so it may be totally ridiculous to you, but remember I am off of RA meds and down 25 pounds...
Yes, you saw that...25 pounds.

My weight this morning was 125.2.
Almost another marker to my goal weight of 115.

I am hoping I will be there by November. Nice and slow with healthy and no pain along the way.

Page from one of my notebooks.

I basically have three notebooks that my doctor has provided me with to take on this journey.

A journey is just what this is... 
I didn't get to 150 pounds (remember I am 5'3" stretching and small boned), 
pain and inflammation everyday, 
and a general lethargic feeling that I fought daily OVERNIGHT.

One notebook was the detox notebook, and I believe that truly was the beginning and NECESSARY!

The next notebook is of general guidelines for healthy living. Two sections are food related. I truly can't absorb all of the information quickly. 

Your protein, fiber, and fat must always be greater than your carbs for weight loss.

What I mean by that is that I can read it all I want, but this is a LIFESTYLE change. I had heard that term and read it so many times without really fully understanding it until I started this JOURNEY in November. 

I refer to this notebook weekly now, trying to pick out one new thing to try and put into practice. You can not do it all at once. I focused on food first, and I still am reading and trying new things each week.

I am beginning to put so many other things into practice. I remember when I first went to Dr. Pelaez, I just wanted him to give me everything at once and just make it all happen immediately. I now understand his method and his thinking, and I will be forever grateful to this man even if I have to go back on medicine at some point.

He is an amazing man. He believes wholeheartedly in what he is doing and has really taken a risk. I shared last week how every patient I have met in there has said the same thing I am saying. He was the head of a major neurology department. I think he was making pretty good money:) He may do well at this, but I am sure it will be a slow sell for awhile as insurance pays nothing on this type of visit.

The third notebook contains my lifelong eating plan.

To start this off, I am going to share some typical meals.

This is hard, because what I want to do is pop everything I have learned into one post. 

You would stop reading this immediately, so slow and steady will be these posts.

To start my day, I get up to feed the dogs. I take my thyroid medication with a quick sip of water, and lay out my morning supplements (more about those later).

I then make a 10 ounce glass of warm water with half of a lemon squeezed into it. I drink this and then it is off to do a few house chores, pick up my granddog that I babysit everyday, and then I try to hit the gym three days a week.

The water deal was during my detox, but you know Susan Lucci drinks this all during her day and look at her.

Back home to do my Bible study. I usually prepare my breakfast and then eat it as I am studying. That however is not his recommendation. You are supposed to stop and eat and then move on, but this is working for me.

Here are some typical breakfast choices. 

On one day, I might eat spinach, apple, and walnuts. 

It was the last of my nuts, so they were crumbly.
The spinach is a kind of new thing, but I learned to love it. Y'all may remember during the detox I couldn't stomach that green drink, so I ate a bowl of spinach and kale in place of it. I think Olive Oyl and Popoye knew what they were talking about. 
It is a superfood.

Y'all this is such a life change. I am a grits, eggs, biscuit, bacon loving kind of girl. I mean after all I was born and raised in the south. Of course, when I worked at early start schools, I ate something quick...cereal, maybe a bowl of grits and a piece of toast, and one day a week a doughnut.

Sunday mornings usually found Hubby and I at the Waffle House.

Only one Waffle House visit since November.

Another day, would be two scrambled eggs and maybe an apple.

Another day, cereals with almond or coconut milk. I am not a milk drinker, so both of these have been fine to me. Hubby hates both!

I have tried the Gluten Free Cheerios, Nature's Path corn flakes sweetened with fruit juice, and the latest that I shared the other day, Arrow's Mill maple buckwheat flakes. I always add fruit to these (mostly banana).
I have only had to add sugar to the Cheerios and that was a natural sweetener that I used.

I am a very plain eater, but there are tons of gluten free cereals out there that would probably appeal to others, but I am probably one of the pickiest eaters you will ever meet.

Gluten Free is good for me! More on that later as well.

Once a week or every two weeks, I will eat a bowl of grits. I have tried these new grits and they are ok. The secret to grits is cooking them long and low heat...let those babies simmer and add butter.
They don't look as good as my other grits, but the taste is good.

This is my new butter.

That is my breakfast. I am slowly adding to it.

One more tidbit...all of this is pricier and I will do a whole post on that at some point, but I am learning tips.
Walnuts on the nut aisle are outrageously priced, so I use the ones on the baking aisle. Still pricey, but worth it for my health.

Like I said, this is so hard, because stopping and putting this in bite sized pieces is not me, but I will share more as time goes on.

A busy Saturday is about to get started,


  1. I admire your determination Sandy. A friend of mine had to go practically no carb to avoid being placed on Diabetes meds and she is down 20 pounds. I admit, like you I was raised in the south and I love all the greasy carby goodness. Of course in the old days people worked all day in the fields and they worked off that food. We have not adjusted it to our more sedimentary life styles. I know that if I hurt all the time like you did, I would do anything to rid myself of the pain and the meds. I have to say that my fit bit has really encouraged me to get moving and thankfully I have very little joint pain for my age. When I walk, I tell myself, be glad you CAN walk. I have just cut down on everything and exercising more. I would like to lose 15 more pounds but I am going to have to get serious to do that!:) I look forward to the fresh foods of summer...and the hot weather makes me not so ravenous. Winter time is hard for me as I want to carb up! Keep up the good work!

    1. The walking is probably the single best thing you could do. I think moving is probably why you don't have joint pain. I would rather walk only, but I think I have done so little for so long that I need more to put myself back in shape. I do feel so much better though since I have been ABLE to exercise. I don't life heavy weights as I don't want to set myself back.
      As for the diet, overall it hasn't been that hard. Once I finished that detox, I didn't have the cravings as bad. If I don't lose another pound, I can live with it as long as I am healthy. It helps not to bring any bad food in the house. Now that it is just Jeff and me, that is a ton easier to get away with. My son comes over and says there is nothing in this house to eat:) I have noticed that he is eating healthier as well. I think seeing how well I am doing is having a positive effect on my family.

  2. Changing the diet so drastically is tough. In Feb. I went cold turkey into Autoimmune Protocol paleo (AIP). Gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar-free. Cleaned out the pantry and fridge! Only organic fruits, vegetables, chicken and grass-fed beef and free range eggs. Fortunately, hubby is right there with me. He is happy about the change.Cooking every meal is a chore - but at least I have time to do it! Cheering you on! You go girl!

    1. My diet is similar. My husband is mostly on board. He has a little trouble with a few things like milk! He likes a little milk at night. I have tried some gluten free desserts and he has not thought they were great, but he is with me a 100%. I am so grateful to be retire and have the time to do the cooking. It is hard, but I am getting there. Trying new things and learning to eat a different way. And my pantry and fridge look very differently. Good luck to y'all too.

  3. I'm glad this is working for you! I don't need gluten free but definitely need to get a grip on my eating habits and weight. In the last few years I've put on 7 or 8 or 9 pounds...depends on how honest I'm being with myself. Today I've started anew. Thanks for some great information.

    1. Thanks Stacey. It has made such a huge difference for me. My hope is putting those out there that if anyone is suffering from RA that it will give them hope to try something different.


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