Month: May 2012 (page 2 of 3)

Addendum to Jack’s Process

Ben Here: I took a video of the phenomenon

Which brings me to today

 End of Week 1
A much better shift at work today.  Amazing what good staffing can do.  I’ll just touch on some things I noted while posting all those other entries.
–I’m not tired anymore.  I’m actually energized.  I used to feel a big slump after my lunch break but now my energy stays up and alert, even after crazy yesterday.  I do feel more dizzy and weak if I can’t eat right when I want to.
–I don’t feel that restricted in my food options.  I have no true cravings.  I’ve figured out what foods are ok and what aren’t.  I’m enjoying the vegetables.  I have my shakes and gold coke, my almonds and cheeses, and those are doing me ok for now. 
–Eating out just isn’t an option with this diet so I feel resigned to make my own food.  You have to be creative, but it’s such a limited source of material I can usually settle on a meal instead of endlessly waffling.  
–I’ve talked to people about the diet and everyone who tried it had good success with it.  That’s encouraging.  
–I’m having a weird post-cold sore throat.  Although Jack’s contagion never fully blossomed in me, I can’t shake a scratchy throat for a couple days. His nose is drying up.  I hope he can go longer than two weeks this time.

Today I stuck to the 20 gram limit.  I hope that will pay off on the scale tomorrow.  Ben and I talked about reaching the end of one week and how we feel about long term plans.  We both are feeling wellWe both want to stop induction at 2 weeks.  I’m going to move up to the next phase (fruits and nuts are ok and carbs are 30 a day).  Ben is going to maintain a low carb diet while nixing junk food.  No fried potatoes, he said, and a lot less sweets.  Kind of a Pollan diet.  He’ll do periodic weight and carb counting, but not be to as finicky as we have been.  We both like the idea of doing the induction whenever we get back from a vacation.  That way we can enjoy ourselves, but then kickstart back into healthy habits when we get home. 

Here’s a couple dinners we had.  Tossed salad: butter lettuce, parsley, red pepper, and boiled egg with italian dressing.  Hot wings and dip, jalapeno bacon cream cheese wraps, and roasted cauliflower salad.  

More Atkins

Day 5, Monday May 21

I’m so glad I didn’t have to go back to work last night.  I had a page at 1:50 am that just needed some discussion on the phone.  Ben made me fried eggs this morning, alongside my usual bacon and sausage.

I lost more weight – down to 158.5.  I’ve never been lower in the past two years except for when I’m sick.  To celebrate I’m taking Jack to Target to buy some new exercise clothes.  I get to do Zumba today!
I’m excited to dance without the usual carb-water bloat I carried.

Zumba was awesome!  I had great energy and a lot of fun.  I hope I burned some real fat.  I worry about how much my weight loss so far is just do to water weight.   Earlier today I bought some new exercise clothes as a treat, for sticking with the diet so far.  They were comfortable and looked good (it helps to take classes with women over 50).

I went to trivia in our neighborhood at Teller’s Taproom. When I walked in the door I had the sudden urge to order something even though I already had a full dinner.  After all, you really need to order something at a bar, it’s like rent on the table, even if I was only staying for a couple rounds of trivia.

I had a coke zero (first caffeine since the diet, and an hour before bedtime) and a fried artichoke.  It was delicious.  I later discovered an artichoke has 7 net carbs.  Yowza!  That put me way over my limit for the day.  But for the moment I enjoying being in a restaurant with friends and enjoying myself.  I helped nail the 90s Billboard Music round then went home.  A three minute drive home.  I’m going to like having trivia here.

Day 6
A long day at work.  13 hours and I didn’t get a lunch break until 4:15 pm because we are short staffed.  That’s 10 hours without a rest.  I ate my snacks at my desk while working.  String cheese.  Atkins shake.  Mini cauliflower salad.  Almonds.  Lots of water.  When I finally got down to the hospital cafeteria the salad bar was incredibly limp and depressing.  But it was my only choice, aside from the leftover bacon-cheese-jalapenos in my lunch bag.  The lettuce was wilted, the cucumbers turning mushy, the egg and chicken were most certainly partially fake and possibly injected with dextrose and who knows what.  I’ll stick the Adventist hospital salad bars from now on. I packed a big lunch for tomorrow where I’ll be working the same shift, some place.

At home I made a sandwich wrap with low carb tortilla.  While eating it I realized consuming a whole tortilla, while only 6 grams of carbs, is probably not kosher for induction week.  When I tallied up my
dinner I went over the daily limit again.  Feeling pretty bummed out. Also, Ben is having a harder time on the diet without me around to help make meals.  The rest of my week will be rough.  Two more shifts and then I have a long stretch off of work for Jack’s birthday.

More Atkins

Day 2
I had eggs, sausage, and bacon for breakfast and it didn’t sit well. I’ve eaten cheerios or frosted mini-wheats before every work shift for over three years.  My body is expecting that carb load and it’s
rejecting what I gave it instead.  I felt slightly nauseated.

Then I felt hungry all morning.  Maybe I didn’t eat enough at breakfast, but I couldn’t stand the thought of eating more meat. Sadly, fruit is out of the question during this stage of the diet. Vegetables don’t appeal to me before 11 am.  I snacked on beef jerky and cocoa powder covered almonds.  They tasted so incredibly sweet! My sweetness sensitivity must have dropped a lot.  Technically almonds are not a part of this diet stage.  But I don’t have much to lose so I’ll give myself little allowances. They are only 2 carbs.

I notice my caloric intake has dramatically dropped.  I estimate normal for me is 2500-2800.  The past two days it’s under 1600.  I guess that’s good for dieting.  It’s probably partly due to the carb elimination because those foods are so high in calories too.  Also the queasiness.  I need to work on eating more volume.  But it’s hard to keep the limit down and keep the calories up!

Ben and I were both exhausted tonight.  Hard to say whether I felt bad because of Atkins or because of my crappy day at work or because I’m catching Jack’s cold.

Day 3
Dreamed about counting carbs last night.

I weight 161 this morning.  Down a whole pound already!  It’s probably mostly bloat -loss, but it still encourages me.  I actually feel trimmer too.

(PS a big componant of Atkins is water intake.  You need a minimum of 8 x 8 oz glasses water per day.  I’ve been drinking 10-12 per day.)

Ben and I both feel better today.  His headache is gone.  I definitely have Jack’s cold but it’s mild.  After some Dayquil I feel pretty good.  The breakfast sat better in my stomach and I ate an extra
sausage link.  I’m not so snacky this morning, although I did eat my cocoa almonds and some string cheese.

We ordered buffalo wings for dinner.  I wanted to “eat out” so I could feel more normal about our habits.  (we eat out far too often.  Maybe 30-40% of lunches and dinners?). The wings were good and I liked the celery.  But I missed have fries on the side and a giant diet coke.  This caffeine free coke is not as good.  Caffeine is supposed to cause insulin spikes so Atkins says to quit it during the diet.

Day 4
I lost 2 pounds!  I’ll be super impressed if this continues.

Right after I woke I was called into work.  I ate a giant plate of scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon.  My stomach was pretty happy with that.  Quite the change.

Unfortunately because of how far the hospital is from my house and some delays on their end for another procedure, I won’t be done here until 4:30 pm.  Glad I ate extra eggs.  I had an Atkins chocolate shake (weird after taste) and some almonds I smuggled in my bag.  Gonna be hard to drink all this water but not pee for 5 hours.

I ended up working all through the middle of the day.  I’m glad I had my atkins shake, beef jerky, string cheese, and almonds to sneak. They were surprising satisfying.

At home Ben made a big chopped salad and it was delicious.  I made a smoothie for Jack and it was so awkward to not taste-test it.  I’ll be a little teaspoon of it would be a couple carbs though, so I
refrained.  He seemed to enjoy it without my taste approval.  After he went to bed we watched Thor.  I wanted a movie snack.  I found our low carb tortillas (3 grams per half tortilla) and broiled them with olive oil to make crackers.  We ate them with a spinach cheese dip for a total of 4 grams.  The chips were not good, I would easily reject them in my normal lifestyle.  But there’s something about a dry crunch with dip.  Celery and other veggies just can’t replace it


 Surprise!  Ben and I have been on the Atkins diet for a week.  I have been journal writing along the way but wanted to wait to post until I had stuck to it for a while and had some progress.  So I’ll post those entries now. 

Thursday May 17
I’m keeping a journal of my dieting experience.  I hadn’t posted it yet because it’s kind of embaressing to admit you are dieting, and using a 10 year old semi-fad diet too!  This is mostly a record for me to see how far I’ve come and measure my success.

Here’s the gist:  Induction stage of Atkins is a two week long diet to”kick start your body into a fat-burning machine!”  Basically you super restrict carbs to force your body into a ketogenic state, so it starts burning fat for fuel instead of expecting carbohydrate deliveries.

Key point:  Net carbs = total carbohydrates – fiber
Induction = net carbs/day.  Subsequent stages allow more daily net carbs.

I weigh 162 pounds (varying from 158 to 164 over the past 3 months).  Before Jack I consistently weighed 158, but was chubbier than I liked.  At the end of college I weighed about 146.  At the end of high school I was around 132.

I think a safe, reasonable goal for me is 150.  12 pounds.  It’s not too much, really.  According to the Atkins plan I could start at an easier stage, limiting my net carbs to 30 or even 50 a day.  But I’m
going to start with 20 per day for three reasons.

One: I want to do the diet right.  I have failed at other attempts to self regulate.  I hope to have more success by following a strict regimen to the letter.

 Reason two: Won’t I lose faster if I start at the hardest level?  All the better for me (see birthday cake, above).  I don’t plan to be low carb for life (tsk tsk says Dr. Atkins).  I hope to do some power
losing and then go back to my steady maintenance with a better awareness of carb intake (hopefully making better choices along the way).

Reason three:  Ben is doing the diet with me.  Lying bed one night I was moaning about how fat I felt.  He said he wanted to lose weight too and his doctor had actually recommended the Atkins diet. So we teamed up!  I’m going to stay on the low carb path as long as Ben does.  Possibly at a more lenient level.  But I want to be supportive for him.

Day 1
I’m excited!  I had planned to do a “test day” by counting my carbs and seeing how low I could go without strictly dieting.  I had half a slice of toast with eggs for breakfast.  11 carbs, yikes!  We talked
about how hard it will be to diet on Jack’s birthday (I MUST bake a real cake!) and with family visiting.  Later that morning Ben and I decided to plunge in.  We will always find excuses not to start. Today is no worse than any other day!

Enthusiasm has made it easier than it will be later.  I spent much time reading Atkins materials and recipes.  I bought low carb foods to stock our pantry.  I bought an app to keep track of my intake.  Again, the diet change feels . . .weird.  I already miss sugar.  I didn’trealize just how badly sugar is EVERYWHERE.

Signature Look

 Jack is making a sartorial statement I imagine is unique to toddlers.  If we are going “out” then he simply can’t go without donning:

1.  Blue straw fedora: usually worn sideways but always smashed down flat against his head.  Sort of a theatrical 20th century street urchin.

2.  Kipper: a stuffed animal based on his favorite TV show of the same name.  My Dad jumped through some hoops to get this imported from Amazon UK, since it is a British show and they don’t sell merchandise here.  An early birthday gift.  It came with Pig and Tiger too, but Kipper is preferred.  Jack is smitten and Ben is terrified that we will lose it.

3.  Plastic duck bill necklace: Ben purchased on a whim for 33 cents in the post-Easter clearance bin.  Jack can blow it to make a duck sound.  He certainly likes to quack it, but lately only quacks on request. 
 No, he just likes to wear it.

So these three things must be before we can walk out the door.

Whether taking a car trip.  Or shopping at Target.  Or frolicking at the playground.  Or any other excursion you can think of. 

Mother’s Day #2

As you saw, my parents came to visit this weekend. They will be gone for Jack’s birthday so he got to open some early presents. Then he opened our presents from Mothers’ Day, because that’s what moms do. My mom made this adorable apron for Jack to wear while baking. I love it! We put it to work and it did a great job.

This is the amazing breakfast Ben cooked for me (and everyone).  Thick cinnamon chip bread from Great Harvest, spread with Icelandic butter, bacon from Whole Foods, perfectly cooked (as close as you can get from a store to a) farm eggs with oregano, and a side of OJ and chocolate milk. 
 Jack bought me this grapefruit sugar scrub.  Seriously!  Ben was at the mall and he ran into the store and grabbed it off the shelf all on his own!  Hiding underneath is a Coldwater Creek Spa gift card for an “ultimate massage.”  Ben really spoils me on Mothers’ Day. 

Then in my new tradition of Mother’s Day portraits, I made Amanda and Mom pose with me.  We put Andy and Jenn on facetime too!

Here are my pictures with Jack.  It wasn’t easier than last year getting a good one.

The pictures are not our best, due to lazy Sunday dress, a boy who didn’t want to sit, and a cameraman who was ready to be done.  (No offense Ben!) I love them anyway, but I think I prefer the in action shots. 

Here’s Jack not wanting to let Grandma go home, which made it all the harder for her.  Then there’s me a Jack at Brasserie TenTen in Boulder.  I was holding him hostage after an attempt to dine and dash.

On the left is from Friday when Jack was in a super cuddly mood.  He has grown affectionate and likes to give hugs and kisses.  I welcome it, along with this short spell of cold weather.

On the right is from tonight: me walking with Jack and his new Kipper doll.  He barely put it down all day.  


In Boulder

My folks came to say hello this weekend! Jack is emulating Grandpa in form and style (from behind you could see the matching elbow pads).

Good time

Today started with a short day at work.  I had one smooth treatment in the morning, then some training seminars through the early afternoon.  I got home right after Jack woke up from his nap.  We ate navel oranges on the patio then walked to the park to chase robins.

Jack had been playing with my watch and dropped it somewhere in the park.  A little later Ben took Jem for another walk.  She used her beagle powers and found it easily in some tall grass.

Back at the house I grilled up the rib eye steak Ben had picked up at Edward’s Meats today.   It turned out PERFECT.    I transformed leftover hot dog buns into garlic bread and served up artichokes.


Then the pager went off.

 I told them I needed 15 minutes to enjoy my steak and then I hurried back to the city to change out a clotted CRRT system.  Oh, so you gave him platelets and a plasma transfusion and his dialysis lines clotted?  Just like that?  Yeah, that’s probably because you gave him platelets and plasma.  Now most of the platelets are sitting in the trash-can.  Seriously docs, let’s think this through! 

But it was a quickie call back and early in the evening, so I was eager to do it.  Because we alternate with a partner I’m #2 for having to go back in now.   I made it home in time to give Jack a bath and put him to bed.

Barely 2 years old and practicing his lady killer look.  This kid is great.

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