Scotty and Spok, at war in my Pantry

“I just can’t do it, Captain!”

That’s usually what I think when the option of ordering pizza arrives – my resistance is futile. I need pizza…or at least I think I do. This is my problem. I’ve found that I do pretty well on my new allergy diet…until it comes to cheese. And lately, I’ve been craving dairy of any kind like a mad-woman. I don’t know if I’m craving the fat, or if my body’s telling me I’m not getting enough calcium now, or if it’s some other reason besides the fact that it just tastes good. So, I broke down and had some pizza, and later regretted it. My problem is that convenience foods are no longer available, and that my stomach has been hard-wired to expect food NOW in this society of always having delicious and bad-for-you foods in constant supply. I’m having to teach my body to crave different foods and to be patient in times of hunger (not so easy).

I had made a resolution (which is something I normally don’t do, as people never stick to them) this year to stop eating the things I’m allergic to. That didn’t last long…maybe a week or two. So, now, I’m going to take a different approach. I’m going to start my Six Week Bikini Countdown again (the program that helped me lose 30 pounds while Elliott was deployed) — and this time, I will not eat anything that contains my allergen(s), OR anything that is produced on the same equipment. I have been a good girl when it comes to my peanut and egg allergies, but not my whey allergy. So I go through the cycle of feeling awesome and feeling sick because I broke down and ate some stinking pizza.

I am excited to use my new allergy free cookbooks, to get back into the realm of enjoying cooking and to try new things (which I love). I am also going to try to prepare myself for my weak times (right after I get off work or finish at the gym) by making grab-and-go foods that are delicious AND nutritious. This includes having everything on hand to make a homemade pizza, minus the cheese.

So, today I took my measurements (waist, hips, and thighs) and tomorrow I will weigh myself at the gym, to kick off my 6 weeks of healthy living. Having the time frame will help me stick to my goals (start small, work your way up). My expectations for my end result will be:

Lose some weight (obviously) – at least 5 lbs
Detox my body of my allergens (less headaches, less stomach pain and nausea, allover feeling of wellness)
Have more energy
Have more control over my dairy cravings

Hopefully, through not having any foods that threaten my immune system (allergens), I will stop craving these foods as often and maybe even altogether. I have asked my husband and his parents (whom we live with currently) to keep me accountable for the foods I eat.

Only I have the power to control what I consume, and I am therefore the only one responsible for it. With great power comes great responsibility. My ultimate goal… “Live long, and prosper!”
 

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Welcome to the World of Food Allergies

Goodness Gracious, it’s been 5 months since I last posted! A lot has changed since then…since it would take forever to explain it all (moving back home from Virginia and all), here is what has changed as pertains to my health.

I have wanted to get tested for food allergies for a long time. They run in my dad’s side of the family (and I’m sure there are some on my mom’s side also). More importantly, I feel sick quite often after eating, especially lately. It got so bad that I’d have to lay on the floor after eating because my nausea was so strong. With a stroke of luck, I found out the name of a local doctor (that is a medical doctor but takes a more naturopathic approach than most) that tests for food allergies.

So, I had my blood drawn to test for 92 different food allergies. Additionally, my blood was also tested for thyroid antibodies, as my doctor was concerned with some of my symptoms. I was shocked to discover that not only do I have a mild level of hypothyroidism, but that I have very high levels of antibodies against eggs, peanuts, and whey. My allergies to eggs and peanuts are so bad that my doctor warned that if I continue to consume them, I will eventually get cancer (thanks to my overreactive immune system).

Eggs and whey (essentially all dairy – I can technically have hard, aged cheeses…however, it’s easier for me to cut it all out than to control myself when I let myself have some) are fairly easy to cut out, since I’ve known that they make me ill for a long time now. However, peanuts were a huge surprise, and more difficult for me to cut out. I’ve always been a peanut butter freak – I’ve eaten it by the spoonful since I was a kid. I’ve found only one brand of almond (or any other nut) butter that isn’t processed on the same machinery as peanuts, and it’s pretty good. I’m sure with more time I won’t miss peanuts as much. The most challenging part so far is finding foods that aren’t processed on the same machinery as my allergens. These allergies pretty much completely rule out any kind of “fast” food (boxes of noodles, flavored and regular, chips, cookies, you name it). While this is an extremely healthy shift in my diet, it is hard to get used to. This is especially true because I am hungry CONSTANTLY now. My thyroid medication is speeding up my body’s processes, so I get hungry (and then crabby) all the time. With no quick foods available, I either break down and eat something I shouldn’t, or I mope around, depressed, until I force myself to eat something I don’t want (my poor husband!) This is something I need to fix – after all the holiday festivities are over, it will be time for me to experiment with new recipes and put some of my own quick foods together to freeze, so they’re handy for me when I need them.

I suppose this will change the direction of my blog, slightly, as the new recipes and information that I share will most likely deal with allergen-free cooking. Hopefully this will help some of you other poor souls ridden with allergies, sensitivities, or even vegans (since my foods will now be dairy and egg free – not meat-free, but I don’t eat too much of that, anyways).

Happy New Year! May you be blessed with healthy choices and happy hearts.

Running like a Maniac

I am ashamed to see how long it has been since I last posted! We were busy for a while after Elliott came home but now we’re back to our day-to-day routine.

I am pleased to say that the Rugged Maniac race in Englishtown, NJ was a blast. I was exhausted at the end, and ready make the 6 hour drive to VA again, but was happy and proud. My goals for the race did not include finishing by a certain time, but instead consisted of running the whole race and making it up over all of the barricades by myself (ranging from 3-7 feet high). I ran the entire time (aside from having to wait for my turn for an obstacle and stopping once for water), even though towards the very end, I slowed down quite a bit. I also made it up over every barricade by myself except one. This barricade was towering (it seemed larger than 7 feet), and my legs were too short to reach the only step on it. Luckily a man was nice enough to boost me up over the top. Other than that, it was all me, baby!

Now that it’s over, I’m ready to take the next step. Having something specific to train for is immensely helpful in finding motivation. So Elliott and I signed up as a couple’s team in another mud/obstacle race, this one an 8k (roughly 5 miles) and only a mile or so away from our apartment (on base). I’m very excited to do another challenging race, and to have my husband running with me this time. This race takes place on the 13th of August, so I have about 2.5 weeks left to train. As of yesterday, my greatest running distance is now 4 miles without stopping. This makes me pretty confident, though I know this race is going to be a challenge. I am very excited to work up to running 5 miles at a time, as this was a goal I set for myself to reach at some point this summer anyways. Because the race is so soon, I’ll have to work on running 4.5 miles next week, and 5 the week after that. My training for the last couple months has had to be fast paced to work up to the race distances, but I have thrived despite that. Just a few months ago I could only run 1 mile on the treadmill, and now I’m running 4 miles outside (which is tougher but overall much more enjoyable than a boring treadmill).

Shortly (less than a week) after our next race, we will begin our road trip across the country to move home to Montana. We’ll be taking our sweet time, stopping in FL to see the Kennedy Space Center, then over to AZ to see some family for a few days, then up through CA to visit some friends before heading home to Kalispell. I am very excited for our road trip (not to mention going home for the first time in 2 years to see all of our beloved, and to go out into the mountains again, swim in the clean lakes, enjoy the smell of pine, and all of the other simple pleasures that I miss dearly. I have come to realize the utter necessity of having these people and outdoor wonders in my life). However, I am concerned with the toll that the road trip will take on me. I am used to daily exercise paired with healthy meals, and 2+ weeks of sitting in the car and access to mostly fast food and junk foods is worrying. While some of those foods may be unavoidable due to the unavailability to healthier choices, I want to do my best. Not only to avoid weight gain, but for my well-being. Having that drastic of a change in exercise and diet is sure to make me feel ill and restless, to say the least. So for the next couple weeks I will be searching the internet for healthy alternatives and exercise ideas (if you have any ideas, please share them!)

I have a feeling that the next couple weeks are going to seem very long – all I want to do is go home, and I don’t have much to do until then. Perhaps researching these things and blogging about it will help 🙂

Finishing week 2

Okay, so I’ve been a bad blogger. I know I wanted to blog at least once a week, but last week was finals and I just couldn’t spare the time to blog. I’ll try to get better, but my husband returns from this long deployment this month, and after that may be interesting. But I’ll do my best! I have to, dang it!

So, I’ve made quite a bit of progress and have somewhat impressed myself at the gym. Last week I set out to run 2.75 miles each day. I ran twice last week (seems like I have to do the third cardio session of the week on a different machine to keep from developing shin splints). The first day I ran 2.75 miles and then decided to go to 3 miles, and then kept going after that! I felt so good that I ran straight through to 3.6 miles, which was phenomenal for me. After a couple days I hopped on the treadmill again and ran the 5k nature trail setting, which alternated the grade between 0.2 – 1.5%. It’s not much, but I wanted to start at a low level to test it out. I plan on bumping it up a level or two for the next couple weeks, and then I’ll start running outside.

My original plan was to lift weights 3 days a week – one day each for upper body, lower body, and abs. However, I’m getting pretty toned on the upper body and am a little concerned that I’ll take it too far and get macho. For the next couple weeks I plan to have one day for lower body and two days for abs, and incorporate a couple arm moves to maintain my strength. I will probably resume lifting closer to the race just to make sure I’m prepared, but I’m going to cool it for a couple weeks and see how that affects me.

I weighed myself again today, and apparently gained a pound since last Monday. However, I had just had 24 ounces of water within an hour of going to the gym, so I’m sure that’s where the weight came from. I’m not concerned about it. I’m not too concerned with my weight now – I’m mostly focused on concentrating on spots that still need toning.

I’m starting to feel like it’s crunch time, not for the race but for my husband to return. Which in essence means crunch time for the gym, because I know I won’t be going 6 days a week for the first little while after he comes home. After that, though, he’s gonna have to come to the gym with me!   🙂 Overall, I’m feeling really great about training for this race and I know I’m going to do fantastic.

Rugged Maniac Training – Week One

The plan for this week is to run on the treadmill 3 days for 2 miles straight each. The other three days (and a day off because I’m at the college for 12 hours) will be for strength training. Yesterday I worked on lower body – my hamstrings are a little tight today, but I’m not really sore. I find that I rarely get sore these days – but I think that’s about to change. I’m going to incorporate more and more plyo into my routine as the weeks progress, and that should kick my booty into shape (quite literally!). Today was a running day.

Starting conditions:
Remaining trail of a headache (had taken some Excedrin and laid in bed for 20 minutes to recuperate). Still sensitive but manageable.
50 minutes of yoga to warm up.

The run:
Warmed up with 5 minutes of walking (total of 0.3 miles), starting at 3 mph and working up to 4 mph.
Started jogging after 5 minutes at 5.2 mph, slowed down to 5.1 mph because of a side cramp.
Ran through 2 miles, and decided to keep going. The last push was pretty challenging, but I finished with 2.5 miles of running straight!
Cool down walking for 0.45 miles for a grand total of 3.25 miles.

Finishing up:
Stretched for roughly 10 minutes after cool down walking
Headache gone, feel great physically, and proud for really pushing myself hard tonight!

For being the first running day of my training, I’m really pleased. Not only did I run the planned 2 miles, but an additional half a mile on top of that. This is the farthest I’ve ever run without stopping. I normally run at a faster pace, but I’m glad I slowed it down by a couple tenths of a mph because it enabled me to go further, which is what I need right now. Tomorrow I’m back on the treadmill, and now that I know I can, I’m going for 2.5 miles again! I’m going to make sure to stretch well again tonight, probably do an hour of yoga before bed. When it comes to running, I find that the more I stretch, the better I feel during and after my run.  A great running day, looking forward to tomorrow!

Rugged Maniac 5K!!

I have been wondering over the past couple weeks about what new goals I should set for myself now that I’m achieving my first set. I don’t want to get crazy ripped at the gym, but I still have some progress I’d like to see in myself. And I also want to keep pushing myself and make sure that the gym is always this important and essential to me. My questions were answered after clicking on a Facebook side ad for something called the Rugged Maniac 5K (after being inspired by a lovely lady in one of my classes who ran the Tough Mudders recently, which is 10+ miles!).

http://www.ruggedmaniac.com/tristate.html

This is exactly what I need. I’ve never ran in a race before, so this is a new adventure for me, and I figured a 5K is a good place to start. But this isn’t just a 5K – this is a mud run. 3.1 miles of mud, obstacles, and lots of crazy fun. I’m talking 3-7 foot barrier walls, pools of water, tunnels, hanging tires, suicide slides, jumping over fire (yes, FIRE), cargo nets, etc. And to top it all off, I get pictures, a rockin shirt, a free beer, and an after party with live music. This is going to be the COOLEST experience ever. I am excited not just for the race, but for the challenge, the training, and the sense of accomplishment. This is going to be my ultimate celebration for getting in shape.

I’m signed up, I paid for it. I’m ready to KILL this thing.

Okay, maybe not quite. I have a lot of training ahead of me for the next 11 weeks. I am doing fairly well strength-wise. I’ve read some blogs from people who have done this race before, and many people said that they didn’t concentrate enough on upper body strength. This is a different race than normal 5K’s – we’re going to be crawling and climbing and scrambling the whole way. So I’m planning on strength training 3 days a week, one day each for abs/core, lower body, and upper body training. Then the other 3-4 days a week, I’m going to be running, running, running.

The running starts TONIGHT. As of right now, I can run 2 miles on the treadmill without stopping, at about 11:10 each for time. I have a plan for building up my running strength and endurance. For the next month I’m just going to focus on running inside and building up to running the 5K nature trail setting on the treadmill. Then for the next month or so I’ll work on running outside on a track, starting at 2 miles and working up to 5K again. Then for the last couple weeks before the race, I hope to be running on the beach to really push and prepare myself. I’m not concerned with time; I just want to be able to run the whole way through. This is a reasonable goal to set for myself, I think.

I don’t expect my training to be easy. I’m going to be hard on myself – but I am so STOKED to do it. I’m ready to push myself towards this goal, even if it means lots of plyo. Every time I start thinking about the Rugged Maniac race, I get so pumped up! I have to focus on calming myself down actually, the last couple nights I have to really try hard not to think about it before bed because it makes my heart rate speed up! This is good though.

So I’m going to blog throughout this process, the challenges and the excitement. I plan on blogging at LEAST once a week, but I’m going to try hard to do it more often than that. Wish me luck! [for the race, that is!]

SUCCESS!

Well, I’ve done it! I weighed myself yesterday, and I have officially lost 30.5 pounds since my husband deployed. This calls for a celebration, bring out the cake! [I wish!]

It feels fantastic to have succeeded in reaching a goal that I didn’t truly expect to reach. When I first started, I had three main goals:
1. Reach a mile count of 500 by the time my husband returns
2. Lose 30 pounds
3. Lose 4 pant sizes

After a few months, the group decided to extend the mileage amount because of the longer deployment, so we’re striving for 600 instead of 500. However, as of yesterday I only have 21 miles left and 4 weeks to do it, so it’s no problem. I realized that I reached goal #3 a couple weeks ago when I tried on some clothes, and was surprised to find I had actually lost enough to wear shorts 4 sizes smaller than before. And as of yesterday, I weighed myself (as with every Monday) and have reached goal #2! I am so thrilled and honestly, I’m proud of myself. I didn’t expect to reach these goals, but set them for myself anyways. And here I am today, about to complete the third goal within a week or so. This has been a wonderful adventure for me, physically and mentally, and I am excited to branch out and try new and exciting things. Because I CAN! You can do anything you set your mind to, and I am determined to keep rocking 🙂