Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dr. Oz off the deep end

I'm so pissed off.  Dr. Oz has, up to now, been a really positive influence.  The newest craze?  Green Coffee Extract.  It evidently blocks the release of glucose into the blood and therefore keeps insulin and blood sugar levels lower than they would have been.

Chlorogenic Acid: is the substance that green coffee has in abundance.  Other words for this are "caffeic acid", hmmmm, sounds like caffeine.  Do you know what else slows the release of glucose into the body? PLANT FOODS THAT ARE UNREFINED.  For the love of Pete, can we just eat in a healthful way?!!!!  I'm so sick of the quack pills promising the moon and reinforcing our bad habits. 

As for me, I can wear rings that haven't fit in years.  My wedding ring has to be held on by my engagement ring because my fingers are slimmer.  I'm sleeping well and becoming more mobile as the weight comes off.  I went to the doctor last week and have lost about a pound per week during the summer when I thought I had held steady.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

28 pounds so far!

I'm really excited.  I just had a little bump of physical change where others noticed that I was smaller.  I finally got my "under 300 pound" outfit.  It's pretty cute and will be nice for work.  My husband already said that I should get another outfit just before school starts.  I might be at 30 pounds by then! 

Here is a trailer for a new vegan film. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Early Signs of Atherosclerosis

This is not on the major sites, they all mention advanced Atherosclerosis, but not the kind we might have as young as 18 years of age!  Here are some signs that I've gleaned from McDougall, Esselstyn, Barnard, et al. 

  • Low back ache with walking or exertion that is not attributed to muscle strain
  • erectile dysfunction
  • high blood pressure
  • varicose veins
  • shortness of breath, loss of stamina, huffing and puffing going up stairs, etc.
  • "senior moments", studies have shown that most people have had hundreds of tiny strokes by their mid-fifties.  Each produces an unremarkable effect, but over time, this can show as dementia in later life.  These strokes are not curable, but they can be stopped and the brain can be given a chance to make new connections to mitigate any damage.  
  • angina is a later symptom.  If you have chest pain, your atherosclorosis is pretty advance
  • macular degeneration, since the tiny blood vessels of the eyes are so delicate, they oftenfail before the patient develops angina or has a heart attack or stroke.  

Monday, July 2, 2012

Under 300

Okay, my scale says 298, my doctor says 305, but I'm going with mine.  Blood pressure is 117/80.   I've been having a little oil and eggs here or there and I need to tighten that up.  Back on the wagon.  Feeling good.  Going to get a new outfit at Macy's in celebration.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vegan Mac and Cheese my toddler loves!

So many vegan mac and cheese recipes are overly spicy and not creamy.  I came across this one and modified it to have less fat.  It does have a substantial amount of fat because of the cashew butter, so be aware of that.  This recipe can be doubled easily. 

Combine the following ingredients in a sauce pan and whisk them while they heat.
1/2 cup raw cashew butter
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (you can add more, but use less salt if you do)
tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt (or less, wait to salt after it's all together)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 3/4 cup nondairy milk (I use plain soy milk, but unsweetened coconut dream would probably be fantastic!)

After that is all combined, whisk in...
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

the mixture will take on air and expand.  You could dress pasta with it at this point, but the last two ingredients add some depth to the flavors and you might want to try them.

Take 1/2 cup of the hot mixture and dissolve 2 tbsp. of white miso paste in it.  Return this to the pan and whisk together.  Whisk in 1 tbsp lemon juice. 

Pour this over cooked macaroni, wheels, or mini-shells.  It's sooooo good.  My first batch was a touch salty so it needs to have a side of snap peas or greens etc.  My toddler loved this and begged for more! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Why we get fat

Stumbled across this compelling talk.  This fellow is a low-carb guy, but I didn't dismiss him out of hand because he looks healthy.  He is saying something very similar to what Drs McDougall, Esselstyn, and Barnard.  "Processed, calorically dense and nutrient poor foods make you fat." 
  • processed, calorically dense foods make you fat
  • eating less doesn't make you thin
  • exercising more is not the magic bullet that makes you thin
  • thermodynamics does NOT apply to weight loss, it's NOT a simple matter of calories in and calories out.  If you restrict calories, your body will simply burn fewer calories.
  • obese people can and often are undernurished and even starving

Friday, June 8, 2012


In the words of nineteenth-century Russian Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov:

"Wise temperance of the stomach is a door to all the virtues. Restrain the stomach, and you will enter Paradise. But if you please and pamper your stomach, you will hurl yourself over the precipice of bodily impurity, into the fire of wrath and fury, you will coarsen and darken your mind, and in this way you will ruin your powers of attention and self-control, your sobriety and vigilance."

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Weight of a Nation, HBO special

Sometimes I think I just can't do it and that I'll never be a normal looking person again.  But I know if I just plug away at my veggies and try out new recipes and pray, I'll be okay.  This is a good documentary from HBO.

Friday, May 25, 2012

If it looks like a pig...

"Corn sweetener" IS HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP.  This New York Times article clues us in.

This is further proof that we need a strong educational system that teaches citizens to think for themselves and to evaluate evidence critically.  This sort of verbal shell game is common.  We must have an educated populace that knows when someone is lying to them.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Weight loss blogs

I just did a search for "Catholic weight loss blog" and came across a couple nice ones.  Here are some reviews.

Mary's Nest is a lovely blog by a woman in Texas.  She's really had it with the starvation dieting that passes as acceptable these days.  She's getting her spiritual life in order with some friends and writes about it. 

Take Back Your Temple is a Christian weight loss blog.  Some interesting ideas.  So far I've only read a few articles, but I liked what I read.  This one is about how a woman made a breakthrough in her weight loss when she learned to budget money.  I also read "Fruit for food, Leaves for medicine."  That article quotes the scriptures for ancient advice on nutrition.  I'm definitely going to read this blog. 

The Light Weigh is a program of Catholic weight loss.  The main crux of this is that people are obese for emotional reasons.  I'm really not sold on this concept.  while I think that there are emotional reasons why people eat, I'm more convinced that the high caloric density of the foods we eat are much more to blame than our psyches.  It's mentioned on a lot of Catholic weight loss blogs, so I thought I'd mention it here.  I'm skeptical about this one. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Endometrial Hyperplasia and Squamous morules

Since Miriam's birth in 2009, my periods have been out of whack.  I was nursing Miriam until she weened herself at 6 months.  All the books said that it can take up to 2 years before periods are normal after a birth, but mine never got back.  When I did bleed, the flow was heavy and lasted for weeks instead of days.  I had no pain.

The doctor wanted to put me on Provera pills for 5 days every 30 days.  "We'll do a pregnancy test.  If it's negative, you do the 5 days of Provera then have a period.  That way, if you are not ovulating, your uterus can empty out.

I was hesitant to do this for more than a couple of months.  "If my body can regulate my hormones so well to give birth and nurse," thought I, "then certainly it will come back to normal."  Well, that was 2010 and it didn't.  I saw my primary and she recommended an ultrasound to figure out if I had PCOS or some other problem that was interfering with proper function.  

The lining looked thick and there was a small "polyp" seen.  I freaked out because of that word, "polyp" means a pre-cancerous lesion if you are talking about the colon.  My doctor assured me that this is not the case with the endometrium, but he wanted to do a biopsy of the endometrium.

I got those results this past week.  "Hyperplasia without atypia" was the diagnosis.  He said that, if it doesn't go away, there is a good chance it would turn into cancer.  He said that that was only if I didn't try doing intensive Provera for 3 months and a big bleed to clean everything out.  I've taken the Provera since Monday, but no bleeding yet.  Any information I find online mentions that women bleed after they finish the Provera, but that's for the 5 day cycle, not the 3 month one.

I'm getting really nervous, but I've felt some cramping.  A period is on its way.  I cried in my husband's arms last night.  I feel abandoned and discounted because I'm obese.  I feel written off.  It's hard to say exactly why, but I know that my feelings are not baseless.

I'll put an update on this post when I finally do bleed.  I'm sure some other woman wonders when the hell she will start bleeding too.  If you are her, don't worry.  Eat your veggies, enjoy the sunshine, and be positive.  DON'T read internet articles before bed (or any time really) because it will drive you insane.  I'm praying for you.  If there is an addendum to this post then I'm out of the woods.  Right now I am not and I'm scared.  I know what you're going through and I'm praying for you.  Chin up!

If you googled the following, this should come up.
Provera treatment hyperplasia when will I bleed?
When will the heavy bleeding stop?
Treatment with provera for hyperplasia

May 26,
Two weeks since beginning the pills. No bleeding yet but some cramping and rumbling down there.  LOTS of mood swings.  I cry at the drop of a hat and have all sorts of unrealistic negative thoughts.  I know they aren't real.  This is like PMS on steroids! 

I called the doctor to see if this is all normal.  He says that it is.  Not to worry.  The bleeding will begin within the 3 months and may be quite heavy.  I just need to wait.

May 27
Spotting!  It's beginning.  I'm so relieved.

June 3
Well, it was just spotting and has remained just spotting, so light, a panty liner is more than enough.  I think that tide might turn soon.  Gosh I'm irritable, so pissy.  Everything just annoys me.  Urgh!

June 6
Flow has finally started, along with cramps that are like preliminary labor.   This is not like a regular period, it increased slowly and will probably get pretty heavy.  It took 3 1/2 weeks for the bleeding to really begin.  I'll write more if it stops before the three months are up.

My bowels have been really crazy.  Some constipation, lots of gas, and pain from the gas, culminating in monumental poops that lowered my weight by about 3-5 pounds today!  Man, these fake hormones are tough.  I need to keep on plant based eating to get my body in balance again.

June 7
Passing clots/tissue the size of a quail egg every 30-45 minutes.  I had to go home yesterday because I bled through my clothing and was having severe cramping and felt terrible.  I got home and showered and slept for hours.  It's so tough.

June 10
Bleeding is getting lighter.  Instead of soaking cloth diapers by the dozen, I can go to pads and maybe even pads for sleeping.  Cramping is gone.  My womb is very tired from all the contractions, it feels almost bruised.  Clots are much smaller and not every time I use the bathroom.  So, it's like giving birth.  About 5 days of labor and delivery then a regular menstrual bleed.  At least, that is what is is for me.

September: another biopsy, finding of squamous morules.  Doctor says that these are found in the company of cancer or pre-cancer, yet no such cells were found in my biopsy.  Doctor suggests a D&C to scrape out all tissue in the uterus and analyze them.

October: NO ABNORMAL CELLS, NO ATYPIA.  The squamous morules must have been caused by the treatment itself, NOT by cancer or pre-cancer.  The doctor said that the study I found was just an anomaly, but evidently not.  It was me! Maybe it's you.  Here is what I've found.

  • my abnormal periods happened after the birth of my child.  Obviously the two are linked!  It wasn't a condition that was developing over years (cancer), it was a condition that was the result of hormonal shock from birth
  • my periods became absolutely normal after the intense provera treatment
  • I was very depressed and had thoughts of suicide during provera treatment, does this mean that I respond normally to the hormones?  THEY SUCK.
  • Plant-based eating helped to restore the periods.

Fat 2 Fit Radio

Starvation seems to be the method of all the commercial weight loss programs out there.  Anorexia is the goal of gastric bypass surgery.  This is insanity!  No, really, if you are anorexic or starving yourself for "health", I do believe that you are nuts! 

Fat 2 Fit Radio is an amazing podcast and website that is dedicated to sanity in weight loss.  The whole premise is that one needs to eat above their basal metabolic needs in order to lose weight.  Go to the site and check it out.  Starvation is not the answer.  Undereating is not the solution to overeating. 

My BMR is 2189 calories per day.  That is how much my body needs if it were in a coma!  I need to eat above that in order to be healthy.  That means that, in order to not slow my metabolism, I need to eat about 2200 calories per day.  I will lose around 1/2-2 pounds per week, depending on activity levels.  Today I'm eating vegan so I just can't get those calories in because I'm too full.  Tomorrow morning is my splurge breakfast of scrambled eggs and cheese with toast.  Those extra calories will help me keep my calories up.

My weekend splurges have left me feeling a bit sick on Monday and Tuesday as my body recovers.  I think I need to take it easy.  This weekend we're doing pizza with salad and fruit (or dairy bar) on Saturday night and we'll grill some red meat on Sunday.  Maybe the dairy bar will be Sunday if it's not Saturday.  In any event, I'm not going nuts this weekend.

Weight 313.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Good Shepherd

This past Sunday was the Catholic celebration of "Jesus, the Good Shepherd."  It's interesting that so many of the heroes of the bible were shepherds and how often the consumption of lamb or sacrificed beef is mentioned with respect to God.  Indeed, Abraham was asked to sacrifice his own son as though Isaac were a ram. 

We humans have been given reign over the earth just as God has dominion and responsibility for the universe.  Since we are made in the image of God, we have a special power over and sensitivity to our world.  While Dr. McDougall asserts that human teeth are those of a herbivore and Dr. Esselstyn strongly asserts that meat and dairy consumption are the source of heart disease, it seems clear in scripture that animal husbandry and meat consumption were indeed part of our ancient diet. 

How then do we reconcile that to killing other creatures, using the milk that was meant for their young, and the cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis that results from consuming animal protein? 

The answer?

If we keep animals with care as Jesus is the Good Shepherd.  If we are good shepherds too and look after the needs of the animals and care for their needs, we will be unable to eat them in the quantities that we currently do.  Indeed, Americans consume 1 million chickens per hour!  If we kept chickens in ranges instead of pens, fed them grain and veggies instead of ground up chickens and animal byproducts, made sure they were dead before processing their carcasses, and let them grow in the sunshine, they would be expensive.   Indeed, the reason we associate poultry with special occasions and holidays is because it has traditionally been a very expensive meat to produce.  It should be expensive!  It should be eaten rarely.  Chicken can only be cheap if we factory farm! 

The answer is to eat according to the natural process of growing and harvesting healthy food.  If we need to keep animals so close together that microbes are a significant problem and we need to pump the animals full of antibiotics, then we need to not have them be so close together.  The answer is responsible and humane farming, NOT antibiotics. 

As it turns out, Isaac wasn't sacrificed by his father, Jesus was sacrificed by His.  Is this a call to veganism?  For many monks and lay faithful it is.  For others it is a call to action, awareness, and seeking out humane alternatives to supermarket meat and dairy.  Either way, if we eat like Jesus did, we must eat fewer animal products. 

BTW, My blood pressure is 118/80!  Lowest since I was in High School! 

Monday, April 30, 2012


We all know that our current state of agriculture is "unsustainable", but what does that mean?  It means that this can't go on forever.  Just like we know that having an ice cream sundae every day is "unsustainable" or smoking is an "unsustainable habit", we can't do this anymore.  We don't need to do this anymore.  Here is the trailer for the movie, "Fresh."  I viewed it on netflix. 

We Americans are killing ourselves with convenient, cheap food.  We are being unspeakably cruel to our fellow creatures, animals whose well-being we were given control over.  How can our current methods be right?  Eating more veggies and less meat is part of the solution.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Progress Report

Still plant-based and doing really well.  I have to fight some moodiness because I don't get enough calories sometimes and that makes me testy.  Once I eat a good meal, I'm okay.

I am under 310 and should be under 300 within the month of May!  I'm so excited.

I've gone from one bowel movement every .8 days to 3-4 per day and every time I use the toilet, I feel like a new woman.  I feel like all the poisons of the world have left me and I'm born again!  It's awesome!  I'm sure there are toxins stored in my fat.  As the fat is burnt, I release them into the stool.  That might be it.  Anyway, I'm no longer living in fear of colon cancer.  Freedom from fear is a wonderful thing.

Need to shop for underwear soon and I'll go for a smaller size.

Planning to buy myself an outfit when I've cleared 300.  So excited to finally be achieving success.  My self esteem is so much better.

I have pretty bad allergies this year.  The trees really got a head start with spring beginning in February instead of April.  I was hoping the diet would get rid of them.  Perhaps they will become less troublesome. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blessed are the poor in spirit

As I'm eating a plant-based diet, I'm struck by the simplicity and peasant quality of most of the things I'm eating.  I'm eating like a poor person.  Like someone must have eaten during the Great Depression, in the French countryside, or someone living off of their garden.  I'm thankful for well seasoned food and a nice juxtaposition of flavors.  I can't think about a meat being the source of inspiration for the meal anymore.  I need to think about the starch and veggies. 

If I were eating like most Vegans, I would not be feeling this way.  Instead I'm eating low fat and whole.  Fake chicken nuggets, olive oil, and fake ice cream are NOT on the menu.  Eating this way is forcing me to be "poor in spirit".  Even though I can afford meat and milk and cheese, I'm eating as someone who cannot. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Body getting in balance

Pascha feasting put the veggies on hold a bit, but this Pascha was not as fatty and chocolaty as past Paschas. Last week I had my first normal period in almost 3 years!  My body is getting back into a good rhythm from the veggies.  I keep watching youtube videos to keep my resolve up and that seems to be working well.  I am going gangbusters with yard work and hauling the wheelbarrow around.  The exercise is fun and I'm really productive.  No weigh-in yet, but my underwear will need to be a size smaller when I get another pack.

Friday, March 30, 2012