Thursday, November 12, 2015

Just Begin

Today I was listening to Rich Roll's podcast Stop Asking for Permission and the mental challenge of bringing about change in our lives and he said just begin by taking one small action every day.  

When people start to contemplate a new path for their lives, whether it's a different career or perhaps entertaining an athletic goal or a creative goal or something like that, fear starts to creep in because it's an unknown and it's scary...and that keeps people stuck.

This really struck a cord with me because lately I've been struggling managing my diabetes and I just feel stagnant. In fact I feel like every week I'm cycling between falling off the wagon and beginning again and again. It gets me down and I feel like my commitment to overhauling my diet and my mindset has not truly yet begun and I want to get to the point where I can push through uncomfortable moments and come out the other side. Do you ever feel this way?

A couple weeks ago I checked my HbA1c, which measures your average blood sugar levels over a period of 2-3 months, and they were not exactly stellar. I improved a little, but not as much as I'd hoped. My bloods were 6.5 in June and now they are 6.4, but the goal is below 5.6. Arg. I wrote to the Doc and shared my frustrations with myself and he sent me this:

There is no one to blame here, especially not yourself. Remember the universal law of praise, what we praise increases. I want you to acknowledge yourself for all the great work you are doing and keep your intention on your desired outcome. 

So with that I'm trying to be positive and once again, beginning again. In the next few weeks there will be a new and positive shift in our lives and things will be on the up and up. I can't wait and look forward to focusing my time on getting this diabetes under control and writing. 

Lots of Love,


Saturday, October 3, 2015

30 Days Booze-Free Challenge

That's right folks! Hub and I are going alcohol-free for 30-days and then some. Our end date is all hallows eve, when we welcome one of our favorite couples to Rio Dana & Joel.

Hub and I went to the London and Sardinia for a few weeks and it was fucking fabulous, but boy did we indulge! The week leading up to our holiday I was super stressed with work and I found myself craving a big glass of red to wind down. No biggie I know, but it was out of routine for me and I was using the wine to drown the stresses of the day and I don't think that's so healthy. 

We went back to Sardinia to celebrate our one-year wedding anniversary and we drank a lot of Sardinian wines! At home we hold back and so it was nice to let go on holiday and have a tipple whenever our little hearts desired. Local brut was a lunch staple, rosé in the afternoon and Cannonau at dinner.

Initially my plan was to stick to my healthy eating plan. How hard could it be especially with all the wonderful fresh seafood and good Italian veg? That quickly went out the window the moment someone mentioned GELATO. Um, yes please! From there gelato time was a daily occurrence and I went on a mission to find the best yogurt/pistachio combo. I decided stressing about eating healthy on vaca was dumb and I was going indulge a little. 

Back in London the drinking festivities carried on as I caught up with my friends. By day 13 I could feel my liver asking for a break and after one champagne heavy afternoon with my buddies from my old job, I decided to go cold turkey for awhile. I also noticed I packed on quite a few pounds in two weeks, 5 kgs to be exact and now my mid-section looked marshmallow-y. So I actually stopped drinking on the 27th September and plan on going until 31st of this month. I've taken some rather unpleasant before photos of Hub and I for your viewing pleasure and maybe we'll see some transformations!

Body-comp selfie start of trip in Italy
Body-comp selfie end of trip London

Web Motivation
Yesterday Hub sent me this inspiring article about October being the month to go sober or Stopober, which I totally didn't know. In London this Ben Greenfield podcast came into my feed about one man's transformation when he quit drinking, which was pretty pos. It then lead me to this blogpost on a 30 Days No Alcohol Experiment and it pushed me to just do it. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Leaving Veganism Behind

It's been 8 weeks since I transitioned from a high-carb vegan diet to a low-carb pescatarian diet and there's definitely been some changes. The biggest differences have been in my skin and hair. The eczema is still present but it has calmed down, however a lot of people have said that I have more color in my face. Hub and Mom said that I looked like a pale vegetarian and since changing my diet my face looks much healthier. I'm thinking this was down to my iron levels. First I should say that I'm a carrier of this genetic disorder called thalassemia, which makes me mildly anemic. So cutting out all animal products probably didn't do wonders for my iron coupled with the fact that I was shit about eating dark leafy greens like spinach, which are rich vegan iron sources. Hence my former blanched complexion. Who knew, hey?

march on a vegan diet
today on pescatarin diet (same room, same light)

My hair has really changed since I started eating fish and eggs daily. When I transitioned into eating more of a vegan diet, I didn't notice any of the changes in my hair. It seemed healthy to me if anything maybe a little dry. I could get away with not shampooing for a like a week, which I thought was convenient. Since July my hair has become much thicker and shinier and feels so different. Also after two days it becomes oily and needs a wash. Before my hair used to grow so slow, but now it's going through a growth spurt. This article explains the importance of dietary protein in healthy hair and how animal proteins are more easily absorbed by the body. As a wannabe vegan I was fully aware of how little protein I ate. I wasn't keen on the vegan sources available here in Rio and beans are one of most important sources of protein in a vegan diet, but I can't love them as a staple food.

My weight hasn't really changed but I've become more lean, especially around my belly. I'm not sure if I've lost body fat, but I do think I've lost excess water weight. What I've discovered in my low-carb research is that you lose water weight when you cut out starches and sugars and it's kind of awesome. The only thing I need to work on is upping my water intake in lieu of this.

march on a vegan diet
july 13th two weeks in on low-carb

Has it been easy? No, especially when I'm at work and have easy access to french fries, fresh baked sourdough bread and butter chocolate cookies. So yes, there have been moments where I've strayed from my healthy eating plan and I hate it when that happens. I am, however, becoming more aware of just how insulin resistant I am. I'm working through those uncomfortable moments where I just have to keep telling myself "no, Lisa" and I'm checking my blood sugar after every meal, which is really helpful.

It's been interesting reading up on the literature that supports low-carb lifestyle for treating Type 2 diabetes and it's gotten me to question my brief dip into veganism. I've taken comfort in the fact that I'm not alone in the mistakes I've made with my health. And it's about the journey, not the destination right? I look forward to sharing my thoughts and confusion with you all.


(Salad above is my current lunch favorite - 1/2 canned tuna in oil (dolphin-safe/friend of the sea), 2 cups lettuce, 1 cup celery leaves, 1/2 red bell pepper, 1/2 cup of raw walnuts, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar. SEriously yum.)
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