More Letting Go (Diet Edition)

In addition to eliminating gluten and dairy, I’ve begun taking other steps to hopefully lessen/eliminate my PCOS symptoms. I’m going to be eliminating refined sugars from my diet in December, for instance. I’ve been reading a lot about sugar, and although I’m not convinced it’s a complete monster for the world I DO know that it’s a monster for my body, and that I really just need to stop eating it. However, sugar is in EVERYTHING, even fruits and veggies. It’s natural. So what I’m doing is eliminating refined sugars– you know, the little white crystals people pour in their coffee (or cereal, or whatever). I did a sugar detox in October and it did not go so well. It was a shit show. But I think now that I’ve eliminated gluten and dairy I’ve taken out most things with added sugar that I was really hooked on and I’ve been sticking to eating food made from home.  That in and of itself has reduced the amount of sugar I’m taking in! My biggest issue now is dealing with condiments (my beautiful, beloved condiments) and those totally delicious but slightly too high in sugar KIND bars I’ve been devouring over the last few weeks. Condiments are sneaky because you think you’re not using enough to really feel the sugary effects. However, I’ve noticed that as I’ve slowly eliminated foods with added sugar, I’ve come to rely on condiments to give me the sweetness I crave– I’ve been adding hoisin and sweet chili sauce to a lot of my meals recently. I need to cut that habit and start eating foods without sugary coating, ya know?

I’ve also fallen in love with KIND bars and Larabars. Most KIND bars are dairy and gluten free which means they’ve been fair game over the last few weeks. However, they are not exactly low sugar, and if you check their ingredients list you can see that it’s not coming from the natural sugars in fruit, it’s added sugar. Sad day for me. Most of the Larabars I like don’t have added sugar, and the sweetness you taste come from dates. However my favorite bar (peanut butter chocolate chip) has added sugar from the (dairy free) chocolate chips added. That might be the hardest snack to let go of, for me. It’s so delicious! And I love peanuts and chocolate together, it’s one of my favorite chocolate combinations! I’m going to take a harm reduction approach and reduce instead of an elimination approach. I know my limits!

New Day, New Diet

Today is day seven of attempting to cut out dairy and gluten.

I’m a huge dairy fan, I particularly love cheese– the typical love story of a girl and the melty goodness that is cheddar, and havarti and pepper jack and Brie and Camembert and…. well, you know how it is. Before last week, and basically since I started eating solid foods post surgery, I’ve been eating cheese with ever single meal. It has been glorious.

However, it has come to my attention that my dairy obsession might not be good for me, as a woman with PCOS. I’ve read a lot of stuff about how dairy and gluten can fuck with my body, particularly my hormones, and can exacerbate my PCOS symptoms, including anovulation. That’s a problem just in general, but it’s an even bigger problem when you’re trying to get pregnant. I want to set my body up for success! I want to give my body the best chance for conceiving when the time comes next year, and the choices I make now will affect that process 3 months, 6 months, a year from now. Also, eliminating dairy in particular gets me that much closer to eating kosher– I don’t have to worry about mixing dairy with meat when I’m no longer eating dairy!  Continue reading

Writing for an Audience of One

Two years ago I discovered NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and I was super stoked about it. I made an account on their website, filled out my profile, and prepared to write a whole novel in a month (NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days). Before I began blogging, I used to spend a lot of my free time writing for myself– poetry, short stories, novels that I never really finished. I remember my parents had received this totally ancient PC from a friend and let me use it– it wasn’t connected to the internet, but it didn’t matter– and I would sit down in front of the computer, turn on some music (usually the Beatles or the Shins) and write for hours, creating alternate realities where kids had power and parents didn’t really exist and magic was everywhere (you know, kid stuff). As I got older I found livejournal and greatjournal (remember livejournal?!) and that really exposed me to the catharsis that can come with online journaling and blogging, but even then I still made time for something beyond my own experience, something creative and outside my own life. It was nice to be creative and fantastical, to write about anything I wanted, to have my characters do whatever I wanted them to, to play out what-ifs or if-onlys in Microsoft Word. I continued to write through high school and into college, but eventually I stopped devoting time to fiction and spent more time writing midterm papers and blogging.  Continue reading

Happy Halloween!

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Halloween and Samhain today (or tomorrow, depending on your traditions), Dia de los Muertos and All Saints Day tomorrow. Then All Souls Day the following day. Safe to say that it is pretty hallowed few days in store for us! Happy autumn holy days for all who are celebrating. Here’s to many more!

I can’t see the future but I think it will be bright

I’m a planner. My present is total chaos (you should see my room right now, it’s as if hurricane Matthew made it all the way to my bedroom), but when it comes to my future, I like to plan for as much as possible. I create my own budget through excel which includes budget projections based on differences in pay, a savings tab to keep track of our 10k savings goal, and a debt tab that shows not only how much we owe but also how long it will take to get under a 30% debt ratio. Every time we go to Disneyland I make an excel spreadsheet that details all of our reservations, park hours, schedules for entertainment we might want to see, and a budget for the week we go. So yeah, I’m a bit of planner. Continue reading

What to do when you don’t know how to feed yourself

Last night I was talking to a friend of mine, basically doing a check in about our lives. As per usual these days my check in was largely compromised of my issues around food. I often come to her with my food woes because she has her own personal experience with disordered eating and can relate to my struggles. I was telling her about how I’ve been really struggling with my fear of sugar and carbohydrates, which has led me into a cycle of extreme avoidance and overindulgence is very frustrating. I expressed how I worry that sugar and carbs impede my weight loss and that I just want them to be completely out of my life (an unrealistic and illogical notion, I know). As a result I’ve made it a goal to stay under 25 carbs a day and I had originally intended to make this month No Sugar October, avoiding not just sugary  treats but also anything that has sugar, honey, agave or artificial sweeteners added (although the goal has changed slightly since we had this conversation). From this we got on the subject of moderation which is something that I think a lot of people with eating disorders find really difficult. I can’t speak for everyone who has an eating disorder but I have a sneaking suspicion that many of us (but not all) tend to think in binary terms– good food and bad food, fat and thin, hungry or full, fasting/restricting or bingeing. Of course there are many people who don’t fall into this type of thinking, but I definitely find myself thinking this way a lot, particularly regarding hungry vs full and fasting/restricting vs bingeing. Continue reading