2/1 - 2/22/16

Well, we are back from our 3 week trip to Europe, which included 11 days on a cruise to Spain and Italy, followed-up by visits to Paris and London. 

The trip proved to be a mixed bag when it comes to eating and to remaining accountable for my change of lifestyle. I started out with a plan about how to eat only the healthiest foods while gone, and I resisted anything at all deviating from the plan while we traveled to Europe and in our hotel prior to the cruise. We requested ahead of time that I be given a low-sodium, vegetable-based meal plan, but since Norwegian does a flexible eating style, that would mean having to make arrangements at every meal in every restaurant. I quickly decided just to eat in moderation the best I could and choose the healthier range of choices available. 


Slept in late again this morning. The alarms went off at 5:30 - 5:45 and no one woke up. We've been getting much less sleep since the kids have been back to their school schedule (with Ryan having Seminary at 6:30 every morning), so we've been getting up to ready family scriptures together at 5:45 each morning. The late start led to me getting right to work as quickly as I could, which led to me just eating a banana for breakfast. Now, it is 12:10pm and all I've eaten for the day so far is a banana. I need to get up and go find sometimes more to eat so I don't get too weak. 

My blood pressure has been pretty good recently, with a whole string of readings below 120/80. So, I cut my Atenolol blood pressure medicine down to 25mg for one of the two doses per day, leaving the other at 50mg. That seems to have raised it back up just a bit as I've now been getting readings between 120-130 for the top number and between 80-90 for the bottom number. I notice the cleaner I eat and the more hydrated I am, the better these readings tend to be. I need to keep up the good eating and drinking lots of water and see how it responds on this new level of medicine. 

I am starting to get worried about eating on our upcoming 3 week vacation. Two of the weeks are a cruise -- to Italy and Spain -- and the remaining week is a tour of some other European countries, including France and England. Kathy indicated on our registration forms that I need a diet low in sodium, cholesterol and sugar, but Norweigian Cruise Lines operate using a freestyle dining system, meaning you aren't just going to the same dining room every day to eat, so I am not sure how they will keep track of dietary needs when they never know where or when I will be eating. But I suppose my greater concerns have to do with trying to justify myself in not maintaining my 80% green light, 20% yellow light and 0% red light food commitment. One or two steps down the slope of just indulging in whatever I want, since it is a vacation, and I will so easily tumble back into old patterns, put on 10-15 pounds and be right back where I started. So, I've got to come up with some good plans that balance a way to enjoy the freedoms of vacation while also eating healthy foods. And I want to consciously plan to be active physically as well so that I feel much better with the time adjustments that will be required.


Interestingly, I've somehow managed to drop a pound a day the last 5 or 6 days after being leveled off or going slightly up or down for the week or two prior. I'm not sure I'm doing anything too drastically different. Maybe a little less salt and haven't been eating much of a lunch (which isn't a good thing). But surprisingly, I've had fairly large dinners the last few nights, making up for some lost ground from the missed lunches, to be sure I get enough vegetables, grains, etc. in my food for the day. You'd think that eating more at night would cause you to weigh more in the morning. Go figure! In any case, I'll take it and am really looking forward to being in the 250s again. It's been a while.

It is fascinating to me how I can hover for months in the 270 - 278 range, only dipping occasionally into the high 268s, and then move to eating cleanly for a 2 or 2 1/2 week period consecutively and be on the edge of cutting into the 250s now. Just 2 weeks of consistency makes that much difference, which is just amazing to me. When eating poorly, I feel like I can't even go a day or half a day without something bad for me...whether sugary, full of saturated fat, high in sodium or some other thing that is not nutritious. It is as if the fat cells in my body, which are multiplying at the time, are calling out for more to join them as they slowly take over my organs and my body. But, eat clean for a few weeks, and those cravings for junk are nearly vanquished, and I relish the fruits, vegetables and grains I get to eat. 

When people talk about the Standard American Diet (SAD), it really is amazing how poor in nutrition it is. I can go days without eating a single vegetable or fruit, other than some overly-processed version of them.


Decided to go to the store after dropping off Bekah for school to get snacks for our 3 hour business meeting this morning. Picked a good selection of veggie sticks, berries, apples, hummus, pretzel crackers, and some fruit-based juices. Although I wasn't as careful as I normally would be in grabbing some of it for the meeting as I was late in setting it up. So, I ate more salt than I would have otherwise (salted almonds and dips) and I didn't balance out yellow and green light foods as well as I have on the other days.


Sunday on our family reunion trip. We decided not to travel on Sunday, so we stayed in AZ. Slept in until 1pm and missed the chance to attend church at one of our prior wards. It was a strange eating day because of the late wakeup, but I was able to get in all of the food from the daily dozen tracking.

We had dinner at my parent's house tonight. Avoided most of the food other than beans, salad, fruit juice, and a half of a baked potato (white).


More family reunion activities today. Slept in late again, so I was in a bit of a rush getting out to get food for the lunch. Wanted to eat a smoothie for breakfast but instead had Fiber 1 wheat cereal, date sugar, soy milk, and pomegranate arils. 

We bought Autumn Moon, an extended-family favorite, for the potluck lunch. Nothing good to eat there other than broccoli and rice, although not a good kind of rice. I ended up eating broccoli salad (yellow light), cooked broccoli from autumn moon (yellow) and some homemade chili someone brought (green meat), and a little bit of rice (red/yellow food). Didn't get very full but didn't give in to much temptation at the lunch...(continued)


Happy New Year. That means parties. And that, at least in my extended family, means food. And not usually healthy food. Took some pre-planning to have food at the family reunion event that is healthy. Jacob, Trevan and I went to Bashas on the way to the reunion lunch and picked out a combination of healthy and not-that-healthy foods. In the healthy camp, we bought a veggie tray, low-sodium v-8 juice, and hummus...


Well, it was a successful travel day yesterday, although ended up being high in sodium intake. At the airport, while others had their McDonalds fast food and Panda Express, I just had a side salad from McDonalds, which was nothing more than greens. Wasn't the most filling meal...I will need to keep some snacks on hand when traveling or being out a long time in the future. But it felt good to eat something plant-based and living...