'Hope' and 'Change' in the Grizzly Household
Three weeks ago, I instituted some dietary changes for Troll and myself. We have embarked upon an adventure in the form of an eating plan called Protein Power. We have severely limited our carb intake and upped our protein intake. Keeping in mind that we must also get as close to 20 grams of fiber p/day as well. No - it's not all red meat and fat, in fact, we are eating MUCH more fresh veggies than before and attempting to increase the consumption of good fat over nasty fats.
Before starting on the new eating plan, I was 30 lbs. + overweight, and so was Troll. Blood pressure for both of us was creeping up. Cholesterol was so bad for both of us that our doctor was considering putting us on cholesterol lowering meds. Although Troll's ability to deal with sugar is comparable to some sort of super-heroic power in my mind, my body's ability to do so had almost completely broken down. I was consuming sugar like some sort of junkie and although my body produced copious amounts of insulin to deal with it, my blood sugars continued to rise. Insulin resistance, I believe, is what they call that.
It's bad, and as I especially have a family history of diabetes, heart attack and stroke - something needed to be done. I am a big fan of dealing with physical disorders without the use of pharmaceuticals. If possible. I like using herbals for illness. (Although, for the record, I do make sure the girls get traditional medical care for illness - supplemented with herbals to help in healing...) And now I am attempting to deal with this myriad of problems using diet. Oh - and exercise.
So - while most Grizzlys are in the process of fattening up and preparing to rest for a long winter sleep, we are dieting and starting to exercise. I have considered the government pushed 'food pyramid' to be a bunch of crap for many years. The incidence of obesity, diabetes and heart disease becoming what is desribed as 'epidemic' in America is a result (in my opinion) of citizens attempting to follow that diet plan. I have had friends over the years harping on me constantly about no fat this, and no fat that, all in the face of my insistence that the proper amounts of the right kind of fat are necessary for the proper functioning of our bodies. Did they listen to Grizzly Mama??! Ohhhhhhhhh Noooooooooooo. It's okay, though. It's part of what makes America great. We have a difference of opinion and although my opinion seems to be in the minority, thankfully I have the freedom to follow my own path. Atleast for now. I am very disgusted by all of the 'no fat' 'low fat' labeling of food out there in the world. No fat - sure. Carbohydrates? Through the frigging roof. That's NOT good for you. Period.
I had fasting bloods done in March of 2008, and fasting bloods done 2 weeks after instituting our new eating plan - which was done October 6th. I have lost 12 pounds. My blood pressure went from 125/85 to 102/60. (Back to my younger days' normally low BP) My total cholesterol went from 252 to 215 - with only a very slight improvement in the ratios after 2 weeks on the diet. LDL dropped 18 points - although HDL dropped a bit, too. My fasting blood sugar went from 119 to 106. My triglycerides went from 125 to 99. Ratios of total cholesterol to HDL stand at over 4, and LDL to HDL stand over 3 still. It's improving though - and I am quite happy with the improvement after just 2 weeks on the diet. My after meal blood sugars are in the range of 100 - 115, which is expected as I only eat 10 to 12 grams of carb per meal.
Not only have we changed our eating habits, but I have started to exercise. Not much. Only a little - I HATE exercising. I think the Army did it to me, and I especially hate running. So - I'm swimming laps once a week and I took up Yoga. Yes - Yoga! This is my favorite pose:
NOT! LOL. I think I like the 'dead-man' pose the best. ;-)
It takes a lot of planning ahead to stay on this eating program - and in that sense we aren't in the best of shape yet. On those days, we throw some meat on the fire, eat a cup of steamed broccoli and some lunch meat rollups - throw a salad together, too. I haven't cheated with sugar yet, although I have eaten a couple of peanut butter crackers here and there - putting my daily total carbs up to 45 grams or so. I'm not kicking myself, though. It's a hell of a sight better than the 300 to 450 grams of carb p/day I was eating before.
I have found some excellent recipes and will be happy to share them in the future. My favorites involve the use of heavy cream - of course! Don't be shocked - it really won't kill you. It's the excess consumption of carbs that you should be concerned with.
Wish us continued luck. The holidays are coming up - lots of candy and sweets will be around. Although no matter what time of year we start the program, there is always some sort of candy/food/eating holiday just around the corner.