Challenges / On the Homefront

So…About Those Challenges

Back in August, I talked about the challenges I try to tackle every month.  I was going to finish out the month-and continue into September-with running, with the goal of a 5k in October.  October’s challenge would be starting every day with a green smoothie(and hopefully continuing with the running).  Both of these would be in the interest of becoming healthier, as I have felt for a long time that there is more that I need to be doing on that front.

So, how did they turn out?  What are my plans for November?

Well, neither turned out…yet  Shortly after I started running, my heart started acting up.  After talking to my doctor(Yes, I know I should have done that before starting to run.), I was told to take a break and to start taking a multivitamin.  Once things settled, and the vitamins had a chance to do their stuff, I could probably start again.  Before that time period was up, I ended up having more things come up in my life that I felt were challenging enough, without needing to add to them.

Now we’re into November.  The general busyness of October, and many of my additional troubles, have passed, and things seem to have crept back down to a manageable level.  I am now in the position of needing to make a decision.

Where do I go from here?

Those two challenges are both very beneficial, and I would love to give them a go again.  I’m thinking I may switch around the order a bit, though, working on diet first, then exercise.  This time, my first step for my diet is going to be to get rid of gluten.  This is something I’ve done off and on since Buddy Roo was born, as he seems to have an intolerance to it.  Since I’m still nursing him, my diet affects him directly, which makes this a higher priority.

This is not my first time being strictly gluten free, I did it with Little Bug, as well.  She had many sensitivities, and I was on a very restricted diet with her.  However, as restricted as it was, it was also easier with her, for multiple reasons.  First of all, we lived in Alaska, which meant we weren’t near family and didn’t travel often(Well, I didn’t, anyway).  We also had a group of like-minded(or at least open-minded) and supportive friends, so the temptations just weren’t there.  Little Bug was also very sensitive, and would be in a fair amount of pain when I deviated from the diet.  Now, we live much closer to family, and travel to visit them often.  Being on the road makes it very difficult to stick with the diet, especially when you’re in the midwest.  Little Bug is also now included in our meals, and has outgrown her sensitivities.  The result was that, with Buddy Roo, I gave up the strict dairy avoidance very early on, and gluten wasn’t too far behind.

Here’s the thing, though, whenever I’m on that diet I feel amazing.  I have energy, my mind feels clear, my memory is better…I’m just a much better me.  So why isn’t this enough?  Why is it so easy for me to slip “off the wagon” and start eating cheese and bread, and drinking full dairy mochas and beer?  How can I get around these cravings and get back to a way of eating that makes me feel good?

This is where I think my monthly challenges will serve me well.  I am going to take this one step at a time; doing one goal, one month at a time.  Since we’re headed into the holiday season, gluten certainly won’t be an easy thing to give up.  Travel and large family meals will make for a definite challenge, indeed.  However, I think that if I can make it through Thanksgiving, Solstice, and Christmas without gluten, I will be far less likely to fall back into my old ways.

I suppose I cannot have this anymore

I suppose I cannot have this anymore

Other goals will be to greatly reduce the amount of dairy I take in, as well as sugar, and to greatly increase my water and vegetable intake.  For November, though, it’s all about being gluten free.  If I improve the others, great, but I’ll keep my focus on just the one goal.

Are any of you gluten free?  What are your favorite recipes?


6 thoughts on “So…About Those Challenges

  1. I went full paleo the beginning of the month. I spent October easing into it. I was never a bean eater, had been eating a lower carb diet, and gluten had always given me gas and constipation, so my first step was to cut out beans and reduce my grain intake to only during dinner, and swapped PB for almond butter for a week. The next week, I cut the grains out of my diet. The following week was when I began to cut back on dairy. That was a hard one, since I love cheese and used Greek yogurt as a mayo and sour cream substitute, as well as a base for creamy salad dressings, and as a snack. My first week, I cut back the amount of dairy I ate at each meal and snack in half, as well as decided to eat only strong flavored cheese, and swapped out milk in my coffee for coconut milk. The next week, I eliminated yogurt and cut the cheese back to only during snacks. Two days later, I cut the amount down by another half, down to a quarter of the amount I would have at a snack. After two days, I cut down to once a day, but just a bite. The following Monday, dairy was completely out.

    After two weeks off grains, my belly felt a lot better. Two weeks after I kicked dairy, I felt amazing! I manage to not cheat by reminding myself how much I will hurt physically if I do. I think it’s very smart to start eith the diet change before the exercise! Results are 80% nutrition, after all!

    • I just realized I never replied to this. I’m sorry, Mirriah!

      That looks like a solid plan, and I’m glad you were able to make the change. I don’t doubt that you feel amazing! I, too, am feeling much better, even though I still haven’t gone 100% GF.

      • I’m much more aware of gluten content now! For instance, I am positive that the turkey the school made for tyeir Thanksgiving lunch had gluten, because my guts were a crampy mess afterward!

    • It really is! I have a note saved in my phone with ingredients that contain gluten, so when I’m reading ingredient labels, I know what to avoid. I have the other names for MSG in that file, as well, since since I’m sensitive to that, as well (It makes my sinuses swell). The only processed foods I buy are condiments and all natural lunch meat, if you don’t include olives and canned tomatoes, so that helps! By tye way, did you know most pickle companies add food dye to the pickles? Banana peopers have yellow dye in the brine, as well, and some pickled jalapeños are made pretty with green.

      • I’m not surprised by the dye, in the least. They’ve got to make it all look uniform, or no one would trust it. Do you have a link to the gluten and MSG information, I’d love to have something like that to reference. Especially since Buddy Roo came down with a rash last night that he should not have. Maybe I missed something…

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