Something was woefully lacking after my last attempt, and I quit eating the way I should (meat and veggies, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar).  I can’t really explain it, I just didn’t have the proper motivation. 

A little knowledge goes a long way. 

 

Researchers in Newcastle upon Tyne in England have found that a severely restricted diet (about 600 calories per day) actually REVERSED the effects of Type II diabetes in study participants.  Participants were given a nutrition drink then ate non-starchy vegetables for eight weeks.  Researchers were surprised that after ONE WEEK participants had normal blood glucose levels.  After the full eight weeks they had normal pancreas function and insulin response. Remarkably, they maintained normal pancreas function after returning to a normal diet.

This struck me on two levels.  First, I found a cure.  It’s going to be hard, but it’s a cure for something that has been on monkey on my back for some time.  Second, the dietary suggestions we give (eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar) seem to offer normal people the same benefit without going on a starvation diet and should allow for adequate nutrition while maintaining the positive effects of the initial diet.

(Reprinted  with permission)

I contacted a diabetes endocrinoligist at the behest of my wife and was told they would NOT monitor me while I attempt this.  They would gladly give me medication, however.  I just keep reminding myself how much money we will save not buying diabetes meds and there is even the possibility of rejoining the Army.  Interesting options. 

I just told my staff that they are to slap any food out of my hands that doesn’t fit my new eating plan.  That should make it interesting! 

Do I want this?  Yes.  Do I want it enough?  I believe so.  Cured of diabetes would go a LONG way in my line of work and life in general.

I had the most amazing lunch today–the leftovers from our Easter Sunday meal.  We cooked a rack of lamb and an entire steelhead both with fresh rosemary.  Today Peedie Smudge packed 6 oz of the salmon on top of stir-fried vegetables.  Stir fry has always been my go to meal when losing weight.  It’s filling, tastes good, and can be cooked in a variety of ways.  This one is a favorite.

Use fresh herbs if at all possible.  The basil and rosemary make this dish amazing, and you’ll miss out using dry spices.

Rosemary Basil Salmon (or steelhead)

2 fillets (whole side, with skin on) about 3 pounds

Juice from 1 lemon
1/4 t Salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
2 t fresh Rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 bunch Fresh basil cut into thin strips
Olive oil

Preparation:

  1. Place fillets skin side down
  2. Squeeze the juice from one lemon over the fish (1/2 lemon per side)
  3. Rub salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary into the fillets
  4. Brush fish liberally with olive oil
  5. Spread basil shreds evenly over the fish.  I used a lot of basil because it shrinks when cooked, and I love fresh basil.

Baking:

Bake the salmon at 400° F for 16-18 minutes and let rest a few minutes before serving.

Serve with veggies.  We just used a bag of prepared stir-fry veggies cooked in olive oil with soy sauce.

If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.  ~Mark Spitz

Since April 4th I have lost 5.3 pounds, dropping from 261.5 to 256.2 pounds or 2.0% of my bodyweight.  I feel better, have been working out regularly and eating well.  Tomorrow I will take measurements, but Peedie Smudge commented yesterday that I am “much easier to hug.” 

One lifestyle change can explain the entire shift:  PREPARATION.  Everyday we have prepared food for the next day.  This has two main benefits:  1) I choose what I eat, so am more likely to eat it, and 2) If it’s ready, it’s much easier to adhere to whichever plan you’re following.  I doubt I could passively eat healthy.

I have been eating “clean” for the most part, following the CrossFit food mantra, “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.”  In addition, I keep a ready supply of lemons in the office to conquer cravings.  My favorite is fresh lemon juice added to a green/peach tea blend.  It has minimal sugar from the lemon and is packed with flavor.  It makes a good iced tea as well. 

A beverage of the gods!

Peach Tea Nectar

Peach Tea Nectar

12 oz water
Juice from 1/4 lemon
1 Green teabag
1 Peach teabag

Boil the water and begin steeping the tea.  Squeeze in the lemon juice, then drop the lemon into the tea.  I let mine cool down so it’s not scalding.  Once finished, I add 8-10 oz of cold water to the lemon and remaining teabags for all-natural flavored water.  I usually add another shot of lemon juice, just for fun.

Chicken Pear Salad

Posted: 13 April 2011 in Nutrition, Recipes

I learned to eat anything at anytime while in the Army.  I watched a fellow soldier spit a mouthful of the omelet MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) all over our Humvee window.  That inspired me to never eat one.  Chili mac for breakfast?  Sure, why not.

When I read in ” target=”_blank”>Born to Run about breakfast salads, I was intrigued.  It’s not traditional, but nobody ever accused me of that.  Peedie Smudge was looking for a new salad recipe and came up with a gem, Roquefort Pear Salad.  I have never been able to follow a recipe, so modified it for my own needs by adding chicken and eliminating the sugar.

Salad-not just for dinner!

The dressing is phenomenal.  I used a bit of it to cook a chicken breast and had it for breakfast.  A new favorite!

Chicken Pear Salad

  • 1 head leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 3 pears – peeled, cored and chopped
  • 4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 1 avocado – peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 6 oz diced chicken

Mustard Vinaigrette

Blend the following ingredients together:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 packets Stevia
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

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CrossFit Friends make you thinner

Are we actually in the midst of an obesity EPIDEMIC?  Can your friends really make you fatter or thiner?  According to Nicholas A. Christakis, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., and James H. Fowler, Ph.D. they definitely can.

The study used contacts from the Framingham Heart Study “to examine whether weight gain in one person was associated with weight gain in his or her friends, siblings, spouse, and neighbors.”

Odds your friends make you fat:

  • 57% increase if you have a friend who becomes obese
  • 40% increase if an adult sibling becomes obese
    • 67% increase if the siblings are both female
    • 44% increase if the siblings are both male
    • NO increase if siblings are opposite sexes
  • 37% increase if your spouse becomes obese
  • NO increase if your neighbor becomes obese

Conclusion:

“Network phenomena appear to be relevant to the biologic and behavioral trait of obesity, and obesity appears to spread through social ties.”  This doesn’t mean you should put a scale on your porch with a sign that says “No Fatties” but be aware of the affect your friends have on your life.

I find it interesting that social distance has great influence, while physical difference has almost none.  In today’s connected world this has serious implications.

Application:

The easy answer is to find fitter friends.  Simple.  No matter where you live, odds are there is a nearby CrossFit affiliate bursting with fit, energetic people.  CrossFit provides instant comradery, increasing the number of fit friends you have.  If you are currently obese, just come in and try it.  Everyone begins where they are, and you will only be judged on your EFFORT.  It is much easier to find a group of fit individuals and join them than to drag sedentary friends into one.  You always have room for more friends.

In my experience, active groups are nearly always accepting and encouraging.  I have joined sports teams, attended yoga classes, run races and have found friends in all of them.

Read the entire study here.

Success Story

Posted: 29 March 2011 in Diabetes, Medication

It helps to know someone else has already accomplished what you want to do.  I found a link to one gentlemen who accomplished my BHAG using CrossFit.

Irwin, I salute you and look forward to adding my story as well. In his own words:

I’ve been a Type II diabetic for 18 years. I became a Type II diabetic 18 years ago. I was 23 years old and weighed 325 lbs. Since that time I’ve been on a variety of medications (both insulin and oral medications). By the time I got to CFBWI in February 2010 I had my weight and diabetes under pretty good control. I was under 210 lbs and was using Metformin (@ 2000mg/day) to keep my blood sugar levels in line. I came to BWI because I wanted to take my fitness to another level. I was intrigued by the combination of gymnastics movements, olympic lifting, and cardio training. Most of these movements were things that I had never done before.

I really had no idea what I was in store for. Nutrition instruction was a part of the on-ramp class, but I thought I was doing pretty well in that area so I didn’t make any dietary modifications. Then, a couple of months into my membership CFBWI had a 60 day Paleo challenge. Being the competitive guy that I am, I decided to participate. Thirty days into the challenge, as an experiment, I stopped taking my medication. I began to test my blood glucose around six times each day. I was amazed to see my levels remaining in normal, non-diabetic range all day long. The true test, of course, was when I went back to my endocrinologist for my six month visit. All of the numbers for my blood work were better than they were when I was still on meds and thought I was eating well.

My doctor was pleased and said, “Obviously, you don’t need any new prescriptions since you’re not taking any medication. Keep up the good work.” I’d always heard that Type II diabetes could be controlled with proper “diet and exercise,” but I don’t think I really believed it. As much as I want to squat more weight and be able to do muscle-ups, CFBWI has provided something far more valuable than that. After 18 years with diabetes the only pills I’m popping are Omega-3′s and vitamins.

Regards,
- Irwyn

Let’s break it down.  He first lost 115 pounds!  That is incredible.  Even at that level he still needed Metformin at the same levels I currently take along with 10mg Byetta twice daily.  When I have spikes I take Glimepiride, which has been the most effective of all my meds at controlling blood glucose but contributed to my weight gain.

 

Peedie Smudge’s father passed away last week, which lead to a week-long binge of “comfort food.”  Well-wishers brought a seemingly endless smorgasbord of cookies, muffins and other delicacies.  It became easy to say, “We’re grieving.  We’ll eat healthy later.”

Why do people bring carbohydrate-rich foods at times like this?  Is there an ingrained craving for comfort food at stressful times?  Here in Utah we have one comfort food served so often they are commonly called “Funeral Potatoes.”  They fit all the requirements for comfort food:

We crave easy calories when under stress, usually carbs, sugar and fats.  Scientist debate what triggers the cravings, but there is evidence that high-glycemic carbohydrates increase serotonin levels which in turn increases your mood.  It turns out you really CAN self-medicate with cookies!

Now that I’m back on a normal footing, I have questions, but not a lot of answers.

What healthy options are there for comfort food?

This poses a particular problem for diabetics.  If I ask for “healthy” recipes, most likely I’m going to get a lot of low-fat, high-carb options that cause serious blood sugar spikes and crashes.  What then can we eat?

I appreciate all the food brought in, but one in particular stood out:  the Reza family brought a HUGE platter of amazing fajitas!  I enjoyed having healthy food that I could eat, and even splashed out on two of their homemade tortillas.  The next day I made a salad from the leftovers.  They were seriously so good, I will probably seek out fajitas as comfort food.

Post comfort food suggestions below.