Bananas, really?

Who would have thought that bananas are my new savior? As a child, I couldn’t stand them. I was not really allowed not to eat food but I stood my ground with bananas. Never on breakfast cereal. I was the little girl who adored stewed prunes. Being West Indian, we made fritters. Those I liked. Banana bread, not so much. It was barely tolerable. And Grandma used to make more of a baked fritter, dense and with raisins. Oh and baked with a little orange juice and brown sugar, a nice treat.

As an adult living on my own, I NEVER bought bananas.

Then a few years ago as this journey started, I felt I had to eat them for the potassium. Plus my husband will eat them. So, I started to eat them. A man at work started leaving them on my desk. I started losing a little weight. They were a necessary evil.

Then with this new way of eating came the smoothie and getting rid of sugar. The banana makes it possible! Who knew? It adds creaminess and sweetness to the smoothies. I feel full and want less sugar. I freaking crave this.

I did read in one of the Healing books – no bananas. What? I cannot see this working out. So I am continuing with my bananas, disguised of course!

Warrior Questions

Even though I am not a Wahl’s warrior, I think her questionnaire is a good way to start the year so here goes:

How do I feel today – Well, I have the usual New Year’s blues. I am always fearful of the New Year. I know what I had. I survived it. I am still literally standing today. I don’t know what the New Year will bring, the vast uncharted territory. We saw Life of Pi this past week and it’s sort of how I feel. I am embarking on a journey without a map with something that wants to destroy me. I should have the power and the tools to tame it. Can I? As to the physical, I tried some basic lift your leg exercises and my left which is supposed to be the good one, is for crap. I feel slightly determined and slightly overwhelmed today.

What did you do for yourself today? I finished reading a trashy novel with breakfast which felt great and here I am writing which has always worked for me. And I am going to finish listening to Serial

What did I eat today and how did it make me feel – Day isn’t over but I started positively with homemade granola and a cranberry smoothie.

Did I exercise? What did I do? How did it feel – Exercise, see above and I hope to get back to my abs.

For whom or what are you grateful? What matters most in life? Grateful as usual to be warm safe and dry. I have a job. I have possibilities. I have people who love and care for me.

Do I have a higher purpose or driving force in my life?   Make a mission statement – Ha, higher purpose is for childish dreams. Driving force – pay my bills and continue to walk. Mission statement -beyond me at this point. Something about sharing my journey. It’s self serving

How long have I been treated with conventional medicine Well, they haven’t really treated me now, have they? I have the spectral leg aka the brace. I was going to physical therapy. I did acupuncture for two years.

The first time I had a symptom – June 2004 walking on the beach boardwalk

What symptoms are most troublesome – Duh, gradually losing my ability to walk and being dependent.

Do I blame myself for things – Sure, being stupidly cheap and not getting the hole in my mouth fixed. I think a virus amok kickstarted this. Not searching hard enough or asking the right questions. Not being aggressive enough.

How is stress level? Not as bad as it’s been. Financially, things are frightening! It’s on me. I don’t want to keep on getting up at 4 something. It’s not healthy for me on all kinds of levels and I can’t see my way out. Time challenges. And then all that walking in public areas that I struggle with

What can I do tomorrow to make it better than today?   Well, eat properly, exercise and breathe. Make a plan.

I will do this questionnaire at the beginning of the month. And let’s be real, on the weekend.

Fat – A Plan of Attack

So,  I am a tad depressed.  I have been evaluating the different ways of eating.  I am making my plans.  However,  I haven’t been doing well.  More things seem not to be working well.  Change in plans.  First of all I know all or never doesn’t work.  So,  I thought I’ll just do it month to month.  A month is doable or we can break it down further and do a week at a time.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to start during the holidays though I have tried to mitigate the risk and lapses.  I have been reasonable.  But I thought all things considered I needed to try Swank for a month.  Sugar will be hard but I get it.  No eggs, no legumes – this is harder.  And then I was looking at the fats again.  This and sugar has to be key.  What am I going to do about avocado?  I have been enjoying avocado smoothie.  And it looks like there’s a great pudding ….  So maybe I’ll have to swap?

Looking at a modified paleo.  First,  a go at Swank.

Something has to give.  I have read too many accounts of food making the difference.  I have to do this.

What I am giving up

What I am giving up?

I am thinking a lot lately about what I am giving up. This new way of eating requires giving up a lot – pastries, sugar, chocolate!  Maybe beans, eggs.  Yogurt.  I have eaten yogurt since I was little.  Long, long before it was popular.  When it was only Dannon and a few flavors on one shelf.  I don’t mind  no bread or pasta.  Sometimes I walk past a stand in the train station and the odor of butter and sugar is heady and intoxicating.  I walk by.

But giving up— four summers ago, shortly after all this started, I was faced with giving up. My ability to walk freely was going away.  I was told I needed a brace.  The man who fitted it told me I would never be able to wear heels again or skirts.  Really?  Well, I wasn’t having that.  How I look is very important to me and an extension of who I am.  Not to be facetious but it’s part of putting my best foot forward.  Then I was told no more hot baths.  I adore my baths. They are how I decompress.  I sink into a tub with bubbles,  a novel and a snack.    It soothes me.  No hot baths?  I felt lost.  The doctors finally said well maybe you are different.  Aren’t we all?  So, I was able to go back to my bubbles.

I am known for my smile. People miss it.  I like to smile.  Yes, it’s very aggressive, one of the few facts I took away from my Hopkins education.  Buy it gives me joy and I know it gives others joy as well.  Something started happening inside my mouth.  It hurt me to smile.  I couldn’t.  This literally hurt inside and out, every day.  The doctor’s take – I swear he was 12 and surfed the ‘net:  herpes, stress, menopause, the condition.  Again, really?

Well, it started to clear and I heard that my mother was dying. It flared again.  My mother died.  She had been my best friend but she had dementia and there were issues with my brother so in many ways I had lost her before.  Another part of me that I had to give up.

So, if I think about it, what’s giving up food in the scheme of things? Especially, if I can give up wearing a brace and not being able to walk.   I am giving up in order to get.  Isn’t that the way things are supposed to work?

Sunday Blues

Today, I didn’t have the usual Sunday blues. I worked, so a little resentful a little tense.   No kids for dinner tonight so that was easy. We had dinner last night and it was glowing. Jeremy’s birthday. Bittersweet, no longer a little boy.

I am blogging for myself today. And work was for me. It will ease my mind when I stand in front of a hostile audience on Monday. So it was for me but not in a real me soothing way.

Eating – well an apple streusel muffin with spelt, then munching around and my usual favorite green smoothie. We did take out Chinese so spring roll, too greasy; hot and sour soup; steamed dumplings, gluten mistake.

No real exercise today, just half an hour on the stepper.

For whom or what are you grateful? What matters most in life? What am I grateful for today? Well, stepchildren. I have no children of my own. I am sad about that but the guys have given so much to my life. I think and hope that they will remember me when I am gone. I am thinking a lot more about mortality than before. I am grateful at how far my husband and I have come and the challenges we have overcome. And the blue fall skies.

What can I do tomorrow to make it better than today? Eat better, rest more and exercise. Standard stuff. But what I need to do is get down what I want to do.

Progress? And Green Smoothies

So much for first steps. I have these great conversations in my head and I “write” about all sorts of things but somehow don’t ever get them on paper. This has to be something that happens every day or it won’t be meaningful and I won’t succeed.

What have I done? A lot of reading and ruminating. It’s easy to get lost in a maze of what to do’s. Everyone has a different take on what to eat and how to go about this. I feel like I am walking (ha, if only) into a dark, thick forest with a compass and a pocket knife. I learned to blaze trails when I was a Camp Fire Girl. I was never really good at it. I need to be good at this.

My left leg is changing, maybe deteriorating so it is more than time for the line in the sand.

What am I eating? Well, I have started with green smoothies. They are filling and luscious. I actually crave them. It seems to be curbing some of my sugar cravings and filling me up. I have been trying for   mornings. I leave for work at 5:30 a.m. so this is a challenge. The cats are terrified of the blender and my husband hates cleaning it. I make them the night before unless it’s a day I am home. Late in the week I have started having it when I come home. It helps before dinner. Which one do I like best? The one from Sparkpeople. Spinach or kale with almond milk, frozen bannanas, a little almond butter, some chia seeds (I added not part of the SP recipe) frozen blueberries and a little cocoa powder. The spinach is sweeter than the kale. I have tried a variation with mango instead of blueberries, not as good. The blueberries give it a depth and sweetness. I tried one from Clean Cuisine with romaine, blueberries and ginger. It sounded good on paper. I won’t be repeating it. I’ll be trying more of the Clean Cuisine ones. Right now the bananas seem to be giving it the shake feeling and creaminess.

This might be the answer to cutting the refined sugar that I need.  We will see/