Thursday, September 6th, Day Two, Food
September sixth is Day Two of this odyssey. Already my scales show I am 3.6 pounds lighter than yesterday, so I am off to a good start.
I took my thyroid hormones, which I need because of the lithium in my body. They help regulate my system and especially my metabolism, and if used properly will help me lose weight. I recommend getting your thyroid checked if you have a cluster of symptoms that indicate too low or too high thyroid functioning. In addition to that, make sure you have a source of iodine in your diet. I will write more about how I get that later.
I also begin my days with 500 mg of tyrosine, an amino acid that is used by the body for several key chemicals. Thyroxine (thyroid hormone) is one. The body also makes tyrosine into dopamine, a key neurotransmitter for motivation. Tyrosine can relieve anxiety if it is used in the correct amounts.
For the body to make neurotransmitters, vitamin B6 is necessary. I use P5P, the active form of vitamin B6. I believe my body has difficulty due to age or genetics converting vitamin B6 into its active form. Thankfully, P5P is available inexpensively. I use 35 mg of P5P almost every day.
Let me start this beautiful day with a prayer to my Higher Power:
I thank you for the uninterrupted, restful sleep I had last night. Sleep is key to my success in weight loss, mood, and energy. My husband was considerate of me last night and did not wake me up for his needs. I am glad I talked to him about that, and in his love, he listened. Lord, I thank you for my great start in already losing 3.6 pounds in one day.
Give me courage to continue this journey. Give me the strength to share it with others that I may be of help to people who struggle with their weight, mood, and energy. Give me safety on the road today. Help me to be alert. I thank you for your supernatural support and protection, now and throughout my life. You have given me a wonderful life and many opportunities. You have given me a good mind. Help me to strengthen and protect it with optimal nutrition and judicious use of medication. Help me to protect my head from bumps, so that I may avoid damaging my brain. In the name of the Son. Amen.
Again, I used the guided meditation Finding Your Purpose this morning.
Afterwards, I did the plank for about one and a half minutes. My goal is to work up to two minutes. I talked to my husband and thanked him for his consideration in letting me sleep last night.
There is an indoor pool here at our retirement complex. I have not used it yet, but I want to. I do not know if I will start swimming today, but I want to think about it and make plans. My first concern is for my husband. I want to be sure he will be okay if I leave him for a while.
Perhaps I will walk to the mail room. I am not sure exactly how far away it is, but I suspect walking there and back covers at least a quarter of a mile, maybe half. I left my pedometer in Utah. I wish I had brought it with me. My husband says, “If you need it, get it.” I just might get a new one.
The walk to Town Center was pleasant. Many people greeted me and said, “good morning”.
I am eating breakfast. It is a ketogenic breakfast, but I’m going to add some carbs because a strict ketogenic diet makes me nauseous.
Here’s the recipe:
Fudge Pine Nut Coconut Mix
27 grams organic, shredded coconut
19 grams Orgain chocolate fudge organic protein powder
11.5 grams pine nuts
2 grams Brazil nuts
.5 grams TMG
7 grams lecithin granules
.2 grams sea salt
30 grams heavy whipping cream
Put all ingredients in a bowl. Add enough filtered water to moisten to desired consistency.
That is 407 calories.
I also drank a cup of almond milk.
You may wonder what the TMG is for. TMG is trimethylglycine, a nutrient that is used in the methionine cycle. It helps homocysteine recycle back to methionine. What does that do? Besides, being able to improve your mood by recycling SAMe as well, it helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease and heart trouble by keeping homocysteine levels from building up.
Lecithin helps build strong but flexible membranes. As Bruce Lipton, Ph.D. describes, the membrane is the brain of the cell. Lecithin has been shown to improve memory by as much as 20%. Lecithin can help control bipolar, but do not ditch your medicine in favor of lecithin! Instead, lecithin can help your medicine work. You do not have to have bipolar to benefit from lecithin. You can get it in eggs. It supplies choline, which works in the methionine cycle with TMG to keep you healthy and improve mental health.
Risperdal, which is an antipsychotic, a medication I take for bipolar, can cause brain shrinkage. Not good! Lithium can prevent brain shrinkage. Ordinarily, aging causes brain shrinkage. So what is the final effect of those two medicines for me? I do not know. But it seems evident that if I am going to take Risperdal, I should take lithium along with it.
Lithium has also been shown to help prevent Alzheimer’s. You generally do not need as much lithium as I am taking to prevent Alzheimer’s, but I am glad that my medication may help prevent damage to the brain. I have hated lithium for the 33 years I have taken it, but lately I have come to appreciate how it can protect me. Lithium, the third element on the periodic chart, can be thought of as a nutrient, not just a pharmaceutical.
Now, I am adding an ounce and a half of Univera km, a supplement of fourteen different herbs: chamomile, sarsaparilla, dandelion, horehound, licorice, senega, passion flower, thyme, gentian, saw palmetto, alfalfa, angelica, celery seed and cascara sagrada. Though not recommended if you are pregnant, this supplement is a great source of organic potassium, though it does also contain some potassium hydroxide.
Lithium can drain the body of potassium, leaving it open to muscle cramps, fatigue, constipation, thirst, and high blood pressure. I have had all these symptoms, and they have been improved since I started using km. Since potassium supplementation has been shown to prevent kidney damage due to lithium in animals
, it is worthwhile to see if it will protect my kidneys as I age as well. Before taking it, be sure it does not overdose you on iron, as it contains iron.
I just took three capsules of pharmaceutical grade fish oil that I order from Canada https://www.ambwellinc.ca
along with 200 mg of vitamin E to prevent oxidation of the fish oil. Fish oil reduces inflammation throughout the body and is especially important in controlling bipolar and depression. It can also aid in weight loss.
Now I have completed my breakfast. I logged it in Cronometer. I consumed 490 calories. I read my husband a brief one-page couples devotional.
It is 9:24 AM, still early. I have already written over 1,000 words this morning. Today, I plan to go to counseling and then east to the Super Wal-Mart, so I can get my husband’s glasses repaired. He fell Saturday, hit his head, and shattered his eyeglasses. Our emergency room visit lasted until three a.m. I was exhausted for the first part of this week. Now that my strength is returning, I am starting on this book.
JV Life Tracker
Whenever I get manic or depressed, if I return to using this app to track my activity, that pulls me back into an even keel. I could award myself 99 points for writing at least 1,000 words a day. Yesterday, I wrote almost 2,500 words. Would that be worth additional points? What is the best way to reward myself for my efforts without it being so much trouble it backfires and de-motivates me? I can and may want to write as many as 10,000 words a day.
In JV Life Tracker, I added five new activities:
1. Writing 1000 +
2. Writing 2000 +
3. Writing 3000 +
4. Writing 4000 +
5. Writing 5000 +
Each of these activities is worth up to 99 points. If I write even more, I can add additional activities. I can give myself one point per 10 words. I say “99” because my app tops out at 99 points per activity.
I added a new activity: Fast from supper to breakfast. Though this activity is critical for weight loss, metabolism, and even cancer prevention, it is especially hard to do, so I will give it 56 points–one point for each year of my age. When I turn 57 in October, I will give it 57 points.
I earned 923 points for yesterday on my Top 1,000! I will soon be getting more than 1,000 points a day!
I told my counselor I was working on meditation, Cronometer, JV Life Tracker, and journal. Now that I have finished Mike Dooley’s book, I followed his example and wrote Four Ends which are general descriptions of where I want my life to go. Getting a vision of where you want your overall life to go is an important part of losing weight while improving your mood and energy. While I was in Utah, I had vision boards tacked to my bedroom wall with images representing what I want in life. Right now I do not have a printer, but my husband says, “If we need it, get it.”
While trying to lose weight, you need to school your appetite to prefer healthy, minimally processed, natural, organic, unrefined, whole foods. If you do not have a good appetite, you will not eat them. You will prefer junk instead. Your appetite will work in your favor, if you give it a good education. Unprocessed foods will satisfy your appetite more quickly than processed foods. It takes more work to eat wholesome food, but the energy burned in obtaining, preparing, and digesting these foods will foster your weight loss.
It is now eleven a.m. I had 100 g of leftover cabbage salad from yesterday, which increased my levels of vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. I gave my husband what he wanted to eat. His appetite was poor, and he did not eat much. I covered his leftover breakfast with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator.
His poor appetite is the result of drinking. I wish I could break him of the habit, but I have known him almost thirteen years, and he is on and off. I married him and committed to love him drunk or sober. Drinking presents a nutritional challenge. Alcoholic drinks provide a lot of calories, but not a correspondingly ample amount of nutrition. To recover his strength and vitality, not to mention his balance, he may need to stop drinking. Right now he is not ready to. So I plan to do the best I can to help him with the circumstances as they are. One good advice may be from a Beetles song we listen to, Let It Be.
The best course for me to take is what I learned in Al-Anon, the same Twelve Steps we learned in AA. I used the Twelve Steps to beat my sugar addiction. I abstained for four straight years. I have not done as well lately, but I know I can do it. I think I will ponder the second step for the time being, “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” I need my sanity right now, more than ever.
The other night, we ordered two whole chickens from Costco and roasted one. We have been using packaged rotisserie chicken that has added sugar and salt. I have typically roasted just chicken breasts or thighs without undertaking the whole chicken. But this time I wanted to get some bones to make chicken stock. I also have a taste for chicken giblets.
Whatever your chicken taste is, consider the whole chicken. Why? The bone broth alone makes it worth it. It is good for the joints and for making “Grandma’s” chicken soup, which is very healing. I have purchased powdered bone broth before, but it just is not as good as the real thing. I do not have time or inclination right now to start a batch of bone broth in the crock pot, but I will return to this project some time later.
Perhaps I should say a piece about veganism and vegetarianism. The older you get, the more you need nutrients present in animal foods. The idea of being able to live to 100 on a vegan diet is probably a myth. Additionally, vegan diets tend to lead to anxiety. If you are prone to anxiety or depression, and the two often show up together, some of the nutrients in animal foods are needed to control it. That is not to diminish the importance of plants. Plants and animals are both needed in a well-rounded, balanced diet.
A vegan diet will tend to be copper-heavy compared to zinc. Too much copper can cause the body to convert too much dopamine to norepinephrine and epinephrine. Too much copper can lead to spaciness, racing thoughts, phobias, disconnection from reality, being in your own world, and eventually psychosis. A vegan diet will probably necessitate a zinc supplement. Since my diet is low in animal foods, I supplement with about 12.5 mg of zinc daily. Most supplements have more zinc than that, so I cut my pills in half.
There is more to this than just zinc.
Taurine is another example. The body makes taurine from cysteine, which may or may not come through the methionine cycle, so it is considered a non-essential amino acid. Do not let the non-essential label fool you. It is essential that you have it. Taurine is present in animal foods but not plants. Vegans tend to have less taurine in their bodies. Taurine is critical for your mental health, eyes, and a long-list of other functions. It helps your body produce GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps you relax.
L-carnitine is another example. L-carnitine shuttles your long-chain fatty acids to the mitochondria for burning as energy. Plants do not supply it. It can help you lose weight.
Perhaps most importantly, plants do not supply vitamin B12. Vitamin B12, which sports a cobalt atom in its center, is critical for mental health and preventing peripheral neuropathy. If you are over 50, you may want to consider taking a vitamin B12 supplement, even if you are eating animal products, because it gets harder and harder to absorb the older you are. If you are vegan, you should seriously consider vitamin B12 shots. I took vitamin B12 shots for a time, with other minerals and vitamins, and they were extremely helpful to my mood and energy.
You can get these nutrients as supplements, and I have done that, but the most effective place to get nutrients is from food.
Yes, I did try veganism, but I felt like I was always starving. I interviewed several fellow health coaches during my studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. One impressed me with the fact that OreosÒ are vegan, but they are not healthy. It is possible and perhaps even likely to be all-vegan and still consume a terrible diet.
Now, it is lunch time. I cut myself a big piece of sharp, cheddar cheese. I would probably be better off avoiding dairy. It can create a host of symptoms and even lead to cancer. However, I have learned that given my ancestry, I may not want to be so absolute about dairy. My parents grew up on dairy farms. Their parents had lots of children, and milk provided them with not only a livelihood but a robust lifestyle requiring strength and energy. Admittedly, the raw milk they consumed was a lot healthier than what I have.
Generally, I buy cheese from pasture-fed cows, though this piece is a cheaper, inferior example. It is going to do for today though. I recorded it in Cronometer. I finished the meal with a large pear. I like the macro nutrient balance between fat, carbohydrate, and protein. However, I have consumed way too much calcium today compared to magnesium. I have consumed 9.366 times as much calcium as magnesium.
I take a lot magnesium oxide at night to prevent constipation in the morning. However, I could probably use more magnesium now. One good source of magnesium is brown rice, but I have eaten all the calories I need for now, and I do not have any rice cooked. So, I will see if I brought some magnesium glycinate with me from Utah. I did. It required four pills (100 mg each) of magnesium glycinate to bring the ratio to 2.171 times as much calcium as magnesium–much healthier.
Dairy products tend to be too calcium-heavy compared to magnesium. This can cause constipation, among other problems. Magnesium is required to make calcium work properly and to keep it from doing damage to the body. Cheese is very low in potassium too, making it almost guaranteed that I will not get enough potassium, if I eat this much cheese in a day. So, cheese may be okay for today, but I do not want to make it a habit.
I finished my errands for the day. I bought a coat for the fall weather at Wal-Mart. When I left Utah, I brought only a cardigan for weather.
We ordered Door Dash for supper. My husband does not want me to have to cook. Just one problem, I have only 344 calories left in my budget, and I am sure the build-your-own plate we ordered has far more.
Should I sample it and save the rest in the refrigerator? I am the type of person who eats everything on the plate. Let me think about this. It is time to break the habit of being myself and not be held back by limiting beliefs of the past. I am an adaptable being. If a situation calls for sampling and saving, that is what I am going to do. I calculate that I can eat 218 grams of food.
So much for my plans! My husband and I ate an entire plate, and he does not have much appetite. I probably over-ate by about 300 calories. Okay, this is no time for self-loathing. Recalculate. Let me start the fast until breakfast. If I can pull that off, I will regain my self-respect. Then I need to do some work to free myself from the limiting belief that I have to clean my plate. That belief has been with me since childhood.
The food was from Garbanzo Mediterranean, and it was delicious–really good food, but it is hard to figure out how many calories it was. The calorie count would be as high as nine calories per gram if it were pure fat. It was not pure fat, but it could have been as much as six calories per gram. Let me see how much the second plate weighs. It is just over 500 grams.
Second thought, with a lot of pickles and greens, the food is probably about three calories per gram on the average. Rice is just over one calorie per gram, and it had rice. That is about (3 X 500 = 1500 calories)–just about the average for restaurants. I ate about 3/4 of it, so that is 1125 calories. That is about 800 calories over-budget. Worse than I thought. Restaurant food is challenging. However, I have lost weight during periods when I have eaten at restaurants, so they are not an insurmountable challenge. I will see how much weight I gain back in the morning to gauge the damage, and then I can start over if necessary.
Dieting Roller Coaster
Dieting can be an up and down roller coaster. The goal is to experience more or greater losses than gains. I want to share these experiences, partly so I can work out my own challenges, and partly so I can help you work out yours as well. This will be a diet book that is not just prescriptive. It is a journey.
I think we all know that we do not always do things perfectly, especially in dieting. The human body has a bias for consuming more food than it needs. That is because we evolved through periods of famine where this tendency was lifesaving. One key is to have enough food on hand so that your body does not get the message that food is scarce. If your body thinks it is starving, you will eat uncontrollably. Fill your refrigerator and pantry with wholesome things to eat. Eliminate trigger foods as much as possible. By trigger foods, I mean any food that you have trouble controlling the amount you eat.
Not only do you want to feel food-secure, you want to manage all stress. Stress triggers the starvation response, causing most people to eat more. Cortisol, a stress hormone your adrenals secrete, puts fat around your abdomen. Last weekend for instance, at the emergency room, I headed for the vending machines twice.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
So now that I have a few minutes, I want to work on that limiting belief. I understand that tapping or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is an effective way to overcome limiting beliefs. For more information on how to do tapping, check out Nick Ortner, who is a proponent of tapping.
I have a problem with tapping. When I tap near the eye, it can go into spasms or hurt for hours. I think I need to avoid the meridian points on the outer side of the eyes and under them, at least for now. The other points are safe, and I can also tap on the fingers. So, what phrases should I tap on? “Even though I have the limiting belief that I should always clean my plate, I do NOT have to. I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
I tapped on that limiting belief. Now, I need to tap in an empowering belief. It is an affirmation, “I eat just the right amount of food at all times and all places.”
Good. I have never done this before. This is breaking new ground for me. I have tapped before, but not on that particular limiting belief.
The day is winding down now. My husband is going to sleep. My computer has turned on its orange background. You can set Windows to do this at a certain time each night to reduce the amount of blue light that reaches your eyes. This can help you sleep better.
To reduce blue light emissions from your computer at night:
1. In Windows 10, click on Settings (gear),
2. then on System,
3. then under Color, turn on the Night light.
4. Click on the night light settings to set the hours and color temperature for night time.
I want to say a prayer for tonight:
Thank you for this wonderful day. Thank you for my safety on the road. Thank you for my awesome session with my counselor. Thank you for the optical store, which will repair my husband’s glasses, so that he can see again. Thank you for our abundance. Thank you that we were able to get food delivered from the Garbanzo Mediterranean. Thank you that I was able to text with the delivery man, even though he is deaf and could not get in the building. Thank you that our plate was probably less than three calories a gram. It was probably more like 1.5 calories a gram. The reason I think so is that I am starting to feel hungry again, which I see as a positive sign.
Lord, bless me in this journey to lose a few pounds and keep my energy and good mood. So far, so good. Lord, bless me with sanity. Step Two of the Twelve Steps of Al-Anon states that I believe in a Higher Power who can restore me to sanity. That is you, Lord. Lord, help me to share useful material with my readers so this book is transformative in their lives. Bless me in my own transformation, acknowledging that it has already been going on for a number of years, with your blessing. In the name of the Son. Amen.
You may wonder why I share prayers with you. Let me explain. You may pray to the Universe or Source, and that is okay. Your Higher Power may be different than mine. Whatever the case, I encourage you to look up to a power greater than yourself. I believe that belief in something (or someone) can help you, not only to be successful in life, but to accomplish the specific goals of this journey. Your Higher Power can give you constant company.
I have experimented with atheism and found it to be lonely. I returned to a belief in God. Some members of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) struggle with the idea of a Higher Power, trying to get through their recovery without believing. There is power in belief. Do your best to believe. Belief is something you actively do. It is not something that just happens to you. It will get easier as you put your trust in your Higher Power with whom you communicate frequently, preferably with two-way conversations. I remember one beautiful woman at AA who was always smiling. One day I asked her what made her so happy. She said, “My Higher Power.” If her Higher Power made her happy, He/She/It had power indeed.