Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Overlooked: A Wild Discovery!

Deer and onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and basil in a sesame oil/vinegar dressing, 
and steamed butternut squash lightly salted and tossed in sesame oil.

What a lovely dinner, except for the fact that we forgot to bring the broccoli to the table! While feeling a little hungry this afternoon we went back to the list of foods that we are allowed to eat during the first week and realized that we had overlooked wild game. We were more than happy to have cut out all red meat during this month (and may continue to do so beyond this program), but when it comes to wild game we can't pass it up!

Reading that wild game was a potential menu item was a pleasing surprise. If you were at our Pig Pickin' last year you may have seen our neighbor butchering 3 deer hanging from his basketball goal. Brad and Maya ended up walking a few friends down to their car and decided to walk over to our neighbors to show Maya the deer. Our neighbor doesn't eat deer but he loves to hunt and he has several friends who he usually supplies with deer during the hunting season. We just happened to walk up at the perfect time! He offered. We accepted, no questions asked!

The next morning we hear a ring at the door and its our neighbor with a massive cooler. We were only expecting a ham that we could cook for Thanksgiving dinner but instead we got a piece of all three! He left us with 6 backstraps and 4 hind legs. It took us a little over 3 hours to cut it all up and package it for use throughout the winter. It is still serving us and we'll be on the lookout for more hanging hooves when deer season starts back up!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cheapskates and Headaches

Our new diet is not about losing weight, but rather it's about watching what we eat, eliminating certain foods and detoxing our bodies of harmful toxins. But that's not to say that we're not curious about how much we'll lose, if any, on this program. We're sure to lose some weight if all we're eating are fruits and veggies for a month.

There's only one problem with this curiosity. We don't own a scale. We're cheap and don't want to spend money on a scale that we'll never use again, or obsess over, so we decided to head over to Bed Bath & Beyond to weigh ourselves on their scales. We took note of what we were wearing and what scale we used so that we can repeat it on day 28.

Day 2 update: So far Tia is feeling fine with the exception of a little craving now and then for cheese and chocolate. Brad on the other hand is having severe headaches and fatigue. The guidelines on the diet say, "if you are starting to have headaches and fatigue on day 2 then this is the right program for you!" It's crazy what effect caffeine and sugar have on your body.

We are both wondering when the dreams will come like we had on the Appalachian Trail...(dreams in the hundred mile wilderness ranged from cairns of doughnuts instead of rocks to never ending piles of french fries marking our path to the nearest pub).

We are also feeling like we are back on our Panamanian diet which consisted of lots of rice and beans. Today we had oatmeal for breakfast, rice cakes and SunButter for a snack, rice and steamed veggies with a side of watermelon for lunch and rice noodles and beans for dinner. Are we going to be Forest Gump with rice or what!? Good thing Tia's lab results didn't say she was allergic to rice!

Darkness where are you, my head is pounding?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Getting Back on Track

And so it begins…

In our daily lives we are constantly exposed to various toxins in the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink. For the next 28 days we will be taking part in a detoxification program designed to eliminate toxins from our bodies that we have been exposed to through our environment and the food we eat. Certain foods can inhibit the natural detoxification process from our bodies while others are important in how well our bodies detoxify. This program was recommended to us by our chiropractor and we will be under her watch during the entire month.

There are 3 stages to this detoxification:

Stage 1 - Initial Clearing (Days 1-6): This stage is all about elimination. We will eliminate all refined and simple sugars, caffeinated beverages, gluten-containing grains, meat and seafood, eggs, and dairy products. We will continue eliminating all of these foods throughout the entire 28 days.

Stage 2 - Detoxification (Days 7-13): This stage is where we increase our protein powder consumption to make up for the lack of protein in the foods we are allowed to eat. The foods we are allowed to eat in this stage are organic fruits and vegetables, rice, oils (olive, flaxseed, sesame), spices and water. That’s it!

Stage 3 - Reintroduction (Days 14-28): During the last 2 weeks we will be slowly reintroducing foods that were eliminated in stage 2 back into our diet. Each day we will introduce a new food and will be recording any reactions (digestion, headaches, nasal/chest congestion, skin, energy, joint/muscle) to the foods we are reintroducing. Our goal during this stage is to identify if certain foods are playing a role in Tia’s asthma and allergies.

You must be asking why are we subjecting ourselves to this and why has our chiropractor recommended it? Well, Tia’s lung capacity was around 52% about 2 weeks ago and we’ve been trying to determine what is causing this extreme shortness of breath. She underwent allergy testing and most of the known allergens came back positive (buckwheat, peanuts and all tree nuts, dust mites, cats, dogs, grasses, trees and weeds). But two foods in her lab results came back with off the chart numbers and it has left us a little puzzled. Tia has been eating cheese, hummus and yogurt almost daily for as long as we can remember. So how could milk and chickpeas come back with off the chart numbers? Was the test flawed? Or, are the side effects of milk and chickpeas causing her asthma to flare up? Is blue cheese worth a sleepless night gasping for air? In Tia’s case it very well may be!

The road ahead during this month will be challenging and there is some argument as to which stage of our new diet will be the worst. Stage 1 may be the worst as a result of the sugar and caffeine withdrawals (severe headaches!). Some suggest stage 2 is the worst because you can only eat fruits and veggies and both irritability and the hunger meter skyrocket! But we have a feeling the hardest part will be cooking for Maya and watching her eat without sneaking a bite!

Maya is constantly trying to share her food with us and have us try a bite. Just today she has already tried to feed us some of her pancakes with honey, spoonfuls of her yogurt and of course some pretzel sticks. It is very hard to re-teach her to change her sharing habits now and she doesn’t quite understand why Mom and Dad have to be on this “silly diet” that you can’t share with others while on it. She asked this afternoon how long this is going to last and why Mom and Dad have to do it and why she doesn’t. She continues to ask this no matter how much we explain. It will all be worth it in the end Maya, just trust us. It will be worth it but it will be a pretty long and tough journey on all of us in many ways!

The headaches have already started…