Thursday, July 30, 2009

Imagine two organic oranges sitting on a tabletop. Someone comes over, pulls out a syringe and injects one of the oranges with -- let's say -- 5 cc's of Roundup herbicide. Then this person offers you to select the orange that you would prefer to eat. I'm guessing that even the most die-hard Monsanto employee would choose the orange without the added herbicide.

The 'news' that they are nutritionally equivalant is kind of missing the point, isn't it?



The thing to remember is that fasting is probably going to be more healing than anything you could eat. Breathe...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Joshua Tree

We drove over to Joshua Tree National Park on Saturday. I had been wanting to go there for a long time. It was far more beautiful than I expected it to be. We drove through, looking at all these surreal looking trees, listening to old Fleetwood Mac songs, and for a moment there it felt like my heart was going to burst from joy. It is an amazing place.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fast 5

I've been experimenting with trying out the Fast 5 eating style. It's a plan where you fast for 19 hours and then eat in a 5 hour window in the evening (or whatever variation thereof you choose 20/4 ... 21/3 ... etc.) It hasn't worked too well for me! My weight has been gradually creeping up, my face is puffy and I feel depressed and moody. Of course, it could also be PMS. It is nice to switch things up like this once in a while. Many people have had great success with the Fast 5 diet and it's much easier to do than alternate day fasting. But, I miss sitting outside in the morning sunshine having breakfast on my eating days. This doesn't feel as natural or as healthy to me. I find myself looking at the clock seeing if its time to eat yet. With alternate day fasting, I don't have to pay any attention to the clock. My fasting day is a day to focus on healing, letting go, releasing, cleansing and it works best for me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

14 Months, 3 Days

It's been over a year and 2 months now, I'm still alternate day fasting and loving it. My weight throughout these winter months has fluctuated between 110-115 pounds with a Body Mass Index between 20 & 21. Today my weight is 112 pounds. I still choose the healthier options of food. Just because I fast every other day, doesn't mean I can gorge on unhealthy foods on the regular days.

Alternate day fasting has not made me ultra skinny or anorexic or bulemic. I have not heard any comments like, "oh, you're TOO thin"; however, I have heard things like, "You look so wonderful and vibrant!." That seems to be the case with others who alternate day fast as well -- they lose weight until they reach a certain normal weight and then remain at that weight.

Alternate day fasting has enabled me to maintain a healthy, normal weight without having to count calories or feel hungry all the time. Yes, I do feel hungry on my fasting day, but its not a constant hunger. It comes and goes and it is bearable. My son gave me a teapot for my birthday last year. This little extra step of placing the leaves into a beautiful teapot and allowing it to steep as opposed to tossing a teabag into a mug of water that was heated in the microwave, reminds me to show reverance to what I put into my body. I also find that if I dedicate the fasting day to some cause that I deem worthy, it makes the day easier to get through. When the hunger pains come, I think of World Peace or Enlightenment or anything really that is a greater, worthier cause than just myself and my own health. (There are bigger problems in the world than my fat butt after all.) I've never given in to the temptation to eat on a day that I dedicated to a higher cause -- it would just feel utterly 'wrong'. If our thoughts really due create our reality as the mystics tell us, well then why not use this fasting time to improve one's health along with the world?

Once in a while on a fasting day, I will get uncontrollably hungry. I don't know if it's a hormonal thing or due to something I ate the day before (too much sugar perhaps). On those occasions, when it's just more than I care to endure, I'll mix a tablespoon of cottage cheese with a teaspoon of flax oil and eat that. It tastes terrible, but it makes the hunger go away. (Actually, I started to enjoy the taste of it after a while -- go figure.) Other times, I have mixed a teaspoon or two of protein powder into a glass of water -- equally effective at qwelling hunger. I am only human and there have been days when I was supposed to fast and I just said, "to hell with it -- I'm going to eat something". There's nothing wrong with that, I just fast the next day. I'm not going to beat myself up or fret over it and I'm not going to stop alternate day fasting. It works too well, I feel too good and I do not want to go back to the way I used to feel. Most of the time, alternating between fasting and eating is as natural as breathing. It has become the natural rhythm of my life.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Still chugging along ...

The weight piles on quickly and leaves reluctantly -- such is life. The Thanksgiving weight gain is slowly whittling back down ... and behold ... here comes Christmas. I will continue to alternate day fast through this holiday. As wonderful as it was to join in on all the daily festivities, it was not worth feeling sick afterwards, nor was it worth gaining weight. I am feeling better now, although some days my intestines still feel inflamed and tender. If I ever have health insurance again, I will get that checked out. It's probably just some kind of immune reaction going on, but in the back of my mind it worries me sometimes.

My boyfriend's work Christmas party is tomorrow. It would normally be a fasting day for me, so instead I am fasting today. He let them know that I am (primarily) a vegetarian so that I will be able to eat something this year. Last year at the party, after fasting all day long and REALLY looking forward to FOOD, the only option available to me was tortilla chips and melted nacho cheese. I recall feeling panicked as the window for eating closed and I hadn't had any real NOURISHMENT.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Oh Hell No

I just can't do it. I can't eat the standard diet and maintain my weight. I don't know what it is, but my body just swells up. I gained around 5 pounds during the 4/5 days that I ate everyday (began fasting again on Monday). Granted, the food wasn't my normal organic, fresh healthy foods, but I can't recall making a pig out of myself or eating until I was stuffed at any time. Whatever it was, my body did not like it. My face is puffy and my intestines/colon feel inflamed and very tender, neither of these has happened since last year before I began doing ADF. It was something that I used to live with all the time. I actually 'feel' toxic and I don't like feeling this way.

Today is a fasting day for me. I'm glad, because I know that I'll feel a little better tomorrow and a little better with each passing fasting day until I'm back to normal again. I'm thankful that I have found something which corrects this situation. I don't have to feel this way all the time anymore. I know that the weight will come back off. I'm a little anxious to learn how quickly or slowly that will happen. Will it snap right back or will it take weeks/months to get back to the weight I was at?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Reprieve

We are up in the wine country visiting my boyfriend's Mother and her husband over this Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving fell on what would have normally been a fasting day for me. In anticipation of this, I fasted normally on Tuesday, followed by a low calorie day, followed by Thanksgiving Day. Since then I've just been eating like everyone else and this is the first time that I have not been alternate day fasting. I'll fast tomorrow when we get back home and I think I'll wait a few days before stepping on the scale again.

We made a delicious pumpkin cheesecake to share with everyone over the holiday. We replaced the 1 cup of sugar in the recipe with 3/4 cup of Splenda and it was more than sweet enough. It is the 2nd time we have made it, we will definitely make it again and again!

Monday, November 24, 2008

ADF One Year Anniversary

Today is my one year anniversary for alternate day fasting. I'm still going strong and loving it. Now that I am in maintenance mode I can lighten up a little bit. If I want to skip a fasting day once in a while that is okay and if something is really tempting on a fasting day that is okay too. (of course, it always WAS okay -- but I would have felt too guilty about it when I was trying to lose weight) In actuality, I've only skipped one day of fasting -- on Halloween -- I had to sample the candy.

My weight fluctuates between 110 - 113, I would prefer it to be a little less, but I'm very happy at this weight. I plan on continuing this diet or lifestyle indefinitely because it feels wonderful. Plus, think of all the money I'm saving on meals! If you think quitting smoking saves money -- try alternate day fasting.

I'm still eating healthy. My breakfast usually consists of oatmeal, with fruit and milk -- all organic. Lunch is usually homemade vegetable soup or a salad. Dinner varies depending on what we are in the mood to eat. My boyfriend and I are both predominately vegetarian (occasionally we eat seafood -- pescitarian -- sorry, I know that concept annoys some hardcore vegheads out there) we are always experimenting with new healthy dishes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fasting Day 162 - 109.8 *REACHED MY GOAL !!

Today I am officially at my goal weight. My desire was to weigh between 105 -110 pounds. This morning I weighed 109.8 pounds after eating normally yesterday. My BMI is 20.1 -- which is healthy, normal and within the acceptable range. I will post some before and after photos soon.

I have been alternate day fasting just one week shy of 11 months and I have lost 45 pounds. It has been relatively easy. I feel better and healthier than I have in over 10 years. I really enjoy the way that alternate day fasting makes me feel, so I will continue to do it even though I do not need to lose any more weight. I'll start adding higher calorie foods on my eating day so that I don't lose any more weight. That should stabilize my weight where it is.

My mother is here visiting from Oklahoma. I've been discussing alternate day fasting with her. She brought up a very good idea. Why not use alternate day 'whatever' to help eliminate bad habits? For instance, a smoker who is having a difficult time quitting, could try quitting every other day. Surely that would be possible. Maybe they would just smoke twice as much on their normal smoking day, but maybe not. It would be worth a try.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fasting Day 161 - 110.2

Has anyone else noticed that humans aren't the only animals on the planet that are having weight problems lately? Didn't anyone else think that the article a couple of weeks ago about the pot-bellied dolphins was a bit peculiar? The trainers said that the dolphins put on weight in one summer even though their diets had not changed. They blamed the weight gain on the mackerel in their diet having a higher fat content. It is normal for the fat content in mackerel to change seasonally. There isn't enough information in the article to answer my questions, but if this was indeed caused by the higher fat content of the mackerel then shouldn't this have happened before? Was this the first year they had the dolphins? Are these just lazy dolphins? Perhaps they were watching too much television or playing video games when they should have been swimming? Maybe they have just been "bellying up to the buffet with both fists"? (Which, in a discussion that I read recently, was what one eloquent ass said was the real reason people are fat.)

Reading about the dolphins made me wonder if there are other examples of animals getting fat. I ran across an article that said that they had to create a feeding device for bats in captivity, because the bats were getting fat and lazy when they didn't have to fly to get their food. And yet another article that said wild bears living close to human populations are getting overweight and have stopped hibernating in the winter. I'm sure there are many other examples that could be found with a quick search. Maybe I'm seeing connections where none exist, but then again, maybe there IS some indeterminate agent behind this obesity 'epidemic' and it is spreading.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Fasting Day 160 - 110.6

Some people try alternate day fasting and they quit because they feel like they are over compensating on their eating day or they are gorging themselves. First of all, in at least one study that I read, the participants were instructed to consume double their normal amount of calories on their eating days and yet the participants still lost weight.

Secondly, I've noticed that it depends on what I eat. It's like we have 2 separate mechanisms that entice us to eat. One of these is the normal body cues we associate with hunger (growling stomach, weakness, shakiness, etc...) . The other is in our head. It is the one in our head that causes the problem. The one in our head can easily overpower any bodily cues. Even if we are stuffed Thanksgiving style, if our head tells us we're hungry --- we will continue to eat. I've experienced that myself on a few separate occasions, I had eaten so much that my stomach was full, but I still felt hungry in my head. It's difficult to describe the sensation. For me, it manifested like I was trying to 'wake-up' my brain. It was as if my body was unable to utilize the energy in the food. My brain (for lack of a better description) felt sluggish like it was not receiving the energy from the food. My body was bloated to the point of vomiting, but "I" was still desperately trying to get that energy to wake up my head. ( I know this is a terrible description, but I just can't find the right words.) It's like when you finally get enough sleep, your brain no longer feels 'sleepy'. Until you get the right amount of rest, you will feel tired. You know when you have reached the correct amount of sleep, because you can't sleep any more. You wake up -- you are refreshed. You don't need any more. Well, there is a similar mechanism in our heads for food. When you have eaten enough nutrients, your brain will feel "full" not just your stomach. You will be satisfied. Sometimes, this mechanism just doesn't get triggered. I don't know why, but I have found the solution -- it is organic food.

Eating every other day has made me acutely aware of how foods affect me. It has made patterns in my diet much simpler and clearer to find. Keeping a food log and a food journal to record how you felt and what was going on at the time also helps, as does writing a blog about one's diet. I can't say what is in our food (or environment or whatever) that is causing this 'switch' in our heads to malfunction, but it seems to be becoming a more common occurence in people. Is their a chemical additive(s) causing this? I don't know. However, I have found that eating organic food WILL still switch it off. I've noticed that it works so well, that I ALWAYS eat ONLY organic foods in the morning of my eating day. Organic fruit, organic oatmeal, organic milk or organic rice milk. It makes an incredible difference in how much food that it takes for me to feel full -- not just in my body but also in my head. My boyfriend, who is not on a diet, commented that he noticed he eats less when he eats organic food. He brought it up on his own -- through his own observation -- one day when we were talking about organic foods. I said that I noticed that too about myself.

You don't have to eat 100% organic foods all day. But give it a try for your first meal. I'm curious to see if your experience is the same as mine, that you don't need to eat as much food and you actually reach that point of fullness in your body and your head.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Normal Day 159 - 108.6

My weight after fasting has finally dropped below 110 pounds, but my weight after eating still has not. I'm really, really getting close though! This has been the easiest diet I've ever been on. Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been easy, it's just been the easiest. If you are considering trying alternate day fasting, I say, "Go for it!" Medical studies say it is good for you health-wise. The studies suggest it prevents cancer, heart disease, diabetes, alzheimers, huntington's, it improves asthma conditions, it improves insulin sensitivity, slows down aging, plus, you'll feel great. You won't starve to death or drop dead if you go without eating for one day. You'll have more free time to do something else besides preparing dinner or cleaning up a messy kitchen. Write a journal. Go see a movie. Take a walk. Learn to draw or paint or how to play a musical instrument. Take up a new hobby.

I know that a lot of people have a problem with loose skin after losing weight. When I first started losing weight the skin on my forearms got a bit wrinkly and loose. However, it eventually snapped back and tightened up again. I don't know if the skin eventually tightening back up is unique to this diet or if that is something that happens on all diets eventually. The media has lots of stories of people requiring surgery to correct loose skin after rapid weight loss. Maybe it's because the weight loss on this diet has been so gradual that loose skin has not been an issue for me? Many fasters comment on how great their skin looks when they are fasting, perhaps there is something to this? Maybe the life extending properties of caloric restriction and/or alternate day fasting are doing more than slowing down aging and actually can slightly reverse the aging of some body tissues? I guess we would have to alter the theory of aging that claims that once an RNA error is introduced -- it is permanent. Just speculating ...

Just ran across a newsclip video on alternate day fasting.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Normal Day 149 - 110.4

When I first began ADF nearly 10 months ago, I never really expected it to work. I had become inordinately discouraged in ever finding any diet that would work other than protracted water fasting. Whatever was wreaking havoc on my metabolism sometimes even prevented me from losing weight while water water fasting. How frustrating is that?! Imagine eating absolutely nothing for 2 days in a row and still not shedding an ounce. I was ready to give up and give in and just eat whatever the heck I wanted as often as I felt like it--because "what's the use?!"

The good news is that after this experiment in alternate day fasting, my metabolism appears to be functioning like a normal person's now. My weight bounces right back after an over indulgence, whereas previously it would shoot up after the slightest indescretion and oftentimes it shot up for no apparent reason at all. I've often been shocked as I stepped on the scale expecting to see that I've SURELY gained weight this time and instead discover that my weight remained stable. It is a surreal experience. I am very grateful.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fasting Day 149 - 112.4

Today, the San Diego Tribune ran an article on childhood obesity and surgeries to correct it. The article said that weight loss surgeries can cost more than $15,000 and often do not qualify for insurance coverage. Some families are taking their children across the border to Mexico where the surgery is cheaper. Another part of the report said,

"Science is helping doctors better understand why many youngsters and adults can't seem to shed pounds through diet and exercise once they've packed on an excessive amount of weight.

It turns out that once you're about 100 pounds over your ideal body weight, your body has reset its thermostat ...."

It breaks my heart to watch this condition spreading across the planet, especially knowing all the anguish and suffering that tend to accompany it. Sure, some fortunate few are comfortable being heavier and that is wonderful for them. However, for most people being overweight or obese means being teased, ridiculed, humiliated. It means having a difficult time finding clothes that fit. It means watching from the sidelines rather than participating for fear of calling more attention to oneself. It means feeling self conscious eating in public. It means countless diets struggling desperately to lose a few pounds, only to gain them back again plus more. There is the self loathing at being unable to lose weight and the panic at feeling out of control of one's own body. The beautiful people on television with their perfect bodies and perfect teeth and perfect lives reminding us of just how much OUR lives lack ... how much we lack ... how imperfect we are. Only to be bombarded with commercials of unhealthy foods designed to exploit the pleasure and comfort that eating can provide us. Disguised as a nurturing friend who will help us bury our imperfect feelings and imperfect bodies -- only to find ourselves abandoned in a place where we begin this cycle of self loathing all over again.

What if...just what really isn't our fault? The article states that our thermostats get reset when we reach a certain weight and it becomes extraordinarily difficult to lose weight. But, what if this 'mechanism' is actually getting triggered first? What if something (again in our environment, or food or water supply or whatever) is actually triggering the mechanism FIRST and the result is weight gain and obesity -- not the other way around. Wouldn't that make more sense? Wouldn't that be a more likely explanation as to why obesity has become so rampant? Then, wouldn't it be shameful ... all this cruelty and shame that we have bombarded overweight people with? How long ago was it when we locked epileptics up inside mental institutions? Will future generations look back in disdain at the inhumane treatment of our own barbaric and ignorant civilization?

I know that I go on and on about this topic far too often. But I really do believe that the true cause of this epidemic is something other than humanity suddenly turning into a bunch of lazy, gluttonous pigs. This 'trigger agent' is becoming so tangible in my mind that I can almost reach out and touch it. I think when we finally identify what is really causing this problem, it will be an 'AHA' moment and everything will suddenly make sense. We will all take a step back and wonder how we could have ever believed the way we did. How we could have been so insensitive to the suffering of others.

I understand the pain and the desperation that would drive people to take so drastic a step as weight loss surgery. I understand the feeling that the surgery is worth risking your life, especially when life isn't worth living if you have to stay as miserable as you are right now. I'd like to suggest trying one last diet plan before undergoing surgery... try alternate day fasting. Try it for 3 weeks and see if it works for you. I know that it isn't for everyone, maybe it isn't even for most people. But it worked for me -- it has changed my life. Talk to your doctor, maybe he could prescribe something to help you get through the fasting days easier or perhaps you could start with using a meal replacement shake on your fasting day. If it worked for me than I know that there are other people out there who it will also work for. Maybe you are one of those people, maybe you could feel better than you ever dreamed possible. Instead of surgery, you might be able to use that +15K to treat yourself to a new bathing suit and a fantastic vacation. Talk to me, I'm here. I offer you my friendship and support. You can do this -- I know you can.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Normal Day 148 - 111

I weighed 111 pounds this morning after fasting yesterday. I'm getting really close to my dream goal. On the 24th of this month, I will have been alternate day fasting for 10 months. I've lost over 40 pounds.

My weight loss has slowed as I approach my ideal weight, but that's okay. My mantra has been, "the time will pass regardless." It may take a long time to lose weight, but the time is going to pass whether you lose weight or not. Wouldn't you rather be passing that time becoming healthier and thinner?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Normal Day 139 - 112.2

I only expected to do this for a few weeks; however, alternate day fasting has made me feel so healthy, happy, energetic and (yes, even) beautiful again that I have continued doing it for over 9 months now. I honestly feel at least 10 years younger. This has inspired me to take better care of myself and my family. Instead of having junk food in the house, we have organic fruits and veggies. My son balked at first, but even he is snacking on organic carrots, plums, nuts, etc. now. There is a package of frozen hotdogs and another of frozen hamburger patties sitting in the freezer gathering ice crystals -- he has lost his appetite for that stuff. Now, we fight over who gets the last apple -- instead of the last chocolate Ding Dong.

A couple of months ago we decided to shut off the Cable TV at our house. It was a waste of money and a waste of time. We just got tired of all the stupid shows and annoying commericials blasting us with ads for drugs, junk food, and other useless things that we didn't need or want. I really enjoy documentaries, but there were so many commercials that I would forget what I was watching and change the channel before the show came back on. We never got in to the reality shows or the talent or game shows. We didn't like watching shows about violence and murder either. That doesn't leave a lot of American TV shows to watch, does it? If we really want to watch a TV show we log onto -- if we want to see a movie we walk over to the video store and pick something out together. We can read the news or stream a video online. It took a little bit of adjustment in the beginning, I was used to plopping down in front of the TV when I got bored. We read and talk more now.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Normal Day 132 - 113.6

I went and bought some new jeans the other day and was really surprised to see myself in the mirror. There isn't a full length mirror in our new house, so I haven't really SEEN myself in a mirror in months. At first, I thought that there was something wrong with the mirror -- it looked like a distorted funhouse mirror that makes you look skinny. I didn't recognize my body, it was thinner than I recalled. It was a bit of a shock -- a very nice one.

The more I hear about people suffering from obesity in places where it didn't previously exist, the more I am convinced that this 'obesity epidemic' is being created by predominately outside forces. Something environmental, like a foreign toxin or substance in our food or water or air is messing up the human metabolism. I think it is absurd to keep saying that people around the world have just become a bunch of lazy, gluttonous slobs.

When our body cannot excrete a toxin and doesn't know what to do with it, the toxic substance tends to get walled up inside of fat cells in order to protect us. I've been reading research papers related to lipophilic toxins and it seems that every paper I read leads me to more and more questions about the subject. The more I learn, the more these lipophilic toxins appear to be a significant factor in the obesity problem. I will definitely be writing more about this topic in the future.

I've been wondering, where do these lipophilic toxins go when we lose weight? For instance, what would happen if you starved yourself into an anorexic body weight? Surely, they would have to leave then, wouldn't they? Apparently not -- they do not leave that easily. Small quantities are excreted through feces. However, when we lose weight these toxins just become more concentrated within our fat cells. Or even worse, they leave the fat cell only to be deposited within the brain! Some scientists have hypothesized that this could explain why it is so easy to regain weight, perhaps our bodies are trying to dilute these overly concentrated toxins.

These lipophilic toxins have a long halflife inside the human body. For example, TCDD (Dioxin) has a half life of 5.8 to 11.3 years. Even if you were able to eliminate absorbing any more of these chemicals (which we can't), who wants to wait that long for these substances to break down to an acceptable level? Especially, if they turn out to be responsible for creating metabolic disturbances leading to obesity ... and oh-so-many other problems and diseases.

So how can we help our bodies excrete these lipophilic toxins? As we saw when Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned with Dioxin, we do not currently possess the medical knowledge for adequately removing this poison from our bodies. I read that they used successive liposuction treatments to help bring down the Dioxin stores within his body. There are also some cases of Dioxin poisoning where the non-absorbable fat, Olestra, has been used to help the body excrete the toxin faster. And another study that showed that mice had a 30 fold increase in the rate of excretion of 14C-hexachlorobenzene when their diets were supplemented with Olestra. Danish scientists have been able to reduce dioxin concentrations by 70% by exposing fishmeal to UV-B light for five days. (Would exposure to sunlight have any effect on the lipophilic toxins within the fat cells in our body? Because that would be an awesome diet -- we could all lay out on the beach munching on Pringle light potato chips fried with Olestra -- and fighting for our place in line at the toilet. ha!)

I have so many questions and so many things that I would love to see studied.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Normal Day 125 -- 114.0

I began alternate day fasting on November 24, 2007. On my 4th fasting day I wrote,

"I wonder if this diet will enable me to return to what I weighed most of my life before I got fat (between 105-110 pounds)? I hope so! I would be ecstatic just to reach 114 pounds."

Well today, here I am, 114 pounds exactly. It took longer to reach than I expected, but it was also way easier than I thought possible. Was I ecstatic? Yes, I would say so. I stepped off the scale and danced a little gig on the bathroom floor. Then I abruptly got back on the scale and double checked ... got off the scale ... got back on the scale again and then raised my arms over my head like Sylvester Stallone's character in the movie Rocky.

Yes, I realize this is only my weight after fasting yesterday and my weight will go back up again after eating today. Even so ... I am happy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Normal Day 121 - 116.6 Pounds

Many people are afraid that eating this way will mess up their metabolism. That was also my biggest concern when I began alternate day fasting. However, in my experience eating this way actually REPAIRS a messed up metabolism. My metabolism is working better than it did before I started alternate day fasting. Sometimes, I am shocked by the amount of calories I can consume on my eating day without gaining weight. These days, my weight is fluctuating between 115 - 120 pounds. My heaviest days are typically after consuming sodium rich foods.

My son and I went to Comic Con on Thursday. We went to the Doctor Who/Torchwood seminar. It overlapped another seminar with Keanu Reeves and we had to choose which one to attend. Keanu Reeves is really sexy, but both my son and I were more interested in listening to writers Steven Moffat and Russell T. Davies (sadly, Russell could not make it to Comic Con). Steven Moffat was hilarious and had the auditorium bubbling with laughter. In response to a request from an attendee, John Barrowman and Naoko Mori (who play Captain Jack and Toshiko in Torchwood) sang part of a duet from the musical Miss Saigon. I was caught off guard by the intensity and beauty of their voices and was quite literally brought to tears.

By the way, Keanu, if you are out there, I really do adore you and would have loved to have seen you at Comic Con; or better yet, to have attended the Doctor Who/Torchwood talk with you as a date! Maybe next time, yes? ...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fasting Day 112 - 117.4 Pounds

I'm still here and still fasting every other day. My BMI is 21.5 -- smack in the middle of the body mass index's normal healthy range (18.5 - 24.9). When I began alternate day fasting my BMI was (almost) borderline obese. It was a terrifying experience to feel so out of control of my own body. It seemed no matter how much I cut calories, ate healthier or increased my activity that my weight continued to climb. I ran into an old boyfriend from High School who thought it was ironic that I had turned into a chubby woman. He taunted me about how mortified I was about fat people and look at me now. I explained that my fear was because both of my grandmothers were morbidly obese and I didn't want it to happen to me. I've struggled with my weight as far back as I can remember.

Hairy Bread & Soy Sauce

Unless you're Jewish or Muslim, you likely have not heard that the amino acid Cysteine (extracted from human hair) is being added to bread as a dough conditioner. Besides the 'yuck' factor, what disgusts me is that we don't have any way of knowing where this hair came from. The Cysteine manufactures claim that it comes from clean barber shop hair; however there was an undercover news report of a soy sauce manufacturer that was using filthy hair collected from hospital floors and wherever (morgues perhaps?). Used sanitary napkins, syringes, condoms and other litter had to be picked through and removed by hand before the hair was sent for processing. Hair itself can be contaminated with drugs, mercury, chemo, and whatever else a person may have been exposed to before the hair was removed. It would be impossible to track exactly where every bit of the hair came from that is being processed. They can claim it's clean, but what really goes on when nobody is looking? There is an interesting article on the OU Kosher website as to whether or not Cysteine is "kosher". I haven't been able to eat a slice of bread since I learned of this practice. I think I'll start baking my own bread. Now ... where the heck did I pack that bread maker my mom gave me a few years ago?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fasting Day 95 - 119.8

WooHoo! My weight has officially dropped under 120 pounds. This is my weight AFTER eating normally yesterday. Weight loss has been slow these past few months, but the weight keeps coming off regardless. I've been eating basically whatever I want on my eating day -- as long as it is healthy -- with an occasional treat. I'm not weighing and measuring everything like in the beginning, but I am mindful of what I am eating as I eat it.

After having struggled for so many years to lose weight, I am amazed at finally having found something that truly works! I realize that fasting every other day sounds like it would be difficult, but it is actually quite easy. The first few weeks were the hardest -- after that it became routine. The best way I can think of to describe it -- is to compare it to breathing. You breathe in on your eating day and you exhale on your fasting day. It feels natural, cleansing and healthy. I rarely feel 'really' hungry on my fasting days and when I have one of those 'rare' really hungry fasting days I simply mix a little protein powder in a glass of water and drink it. I'm not sure why I have them sometimes -- hormonal perhaps?

We moved to a new house last month. This house has a small, unheated pool in the backyard. The water temperature hasn't been warm enough to swim yet, so my boyfriend bought me a shorty wetsuit last weekend. I've been swimming every day since -- even in the rain. Maybe that's why I've started losing weight again.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fasting Day 89 - 123

Just wanted to check in and let everyone know that I'm still here and I'm still alternate day fasting. My current objective is simply to maintain my weight around 125 pounds -- which has been quite easy no matter what I eat on my regular day. Of course, normally I eat really healthy food anyway, but I've been able to have an occasional bowl of ice-cream and not have to pay for it the rest of the week. My body snaps right back the way a normal metabolism is supposed to. I feel wonderful.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Normal Day 74 - 121

There has been a noticable improvement in my mood and ovarian pain by completely eliminating the protein/water shakes on my fasting days. It is much easier to fast when I use supplemental protein, but it isn't worth it if I'm depressed and in pain. Therefore, I will stick with water or unsweetened tea on my fasting days for now.

I am still finding it very easy to maintain my weight using alternate day fasting. Actually, I have a lost a couple of pounds without even trying. The foods that I eat are nutritious: whole grains, beans, raw nuts, seafood, fresh vegetables and fruits, some soy products, some dairy products. I've usually eaten healthier foods than most of the people I hang around, but I was still sick and unhealthy. Before I started fasting I was bloated and pasty and had very little energy. It would irk me when people would try to tell me how to get better... take more vitamins, take less vitamins, sleep more, sleep less, exercise more, exercise less, eat meat, eat vegan, eat raw, eat only fruit, eat only foods that grow above the ground, practice celibacy, drink a couple glasses of wine, don't drink alcohol, don't drink coffee, have all your dental fillings removed, move your alarm clock across the room, don't use deoderant, use fluoride, don't use fluoride, wear magnets ... so much confusion that I was ready to don a tin foil hat and mumble to myself in the corner ...

I choose to do my own research and then pay attention to my own body and my own health. I know what I am doing is working for me. I feel great and people ask me what I am doing because I look so vibrant and healthy. This works for me and I love it. Before, I felt like my life was over and I was just waiting to die -- sometimes I even wished that I would die because I felt so awful. Now, I wish I could have those 10 years back! I wish that I would have found this when I first got sick. Alternate day fasting has turned my life around and given me new hope.

But ... I'm starting to sound like an info-mercial. That's enough for now. I guess it is all about finding your balance. For me, this is my balancing point, it is right here between eating healthy foods one day and fasting the next. For me, where I am right now, right here, this is perfect. This is it.

April 18 - Fasting Day 71 - 124.8 Pounds
April 19 - Normal Day 71 - 122.2 Pounds
April 20 - Fasting Day 72 - 125.6 Pounds
April 21 - Normal Day 72 - 122.6 Pounds
April 22 - Fasting Day 73 - 125.0 Pounds
April 23 - Normal Day 73 - 121.6 Pounds
April 24 - Fasting Day 74 - 123.0 Pounds
April 25 - Normal Day 74 - 121.0 Pounds

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Normal Day 70 - 122

Lately, I've switched from drinking coffee to drinking green tea either plain or sweetened with a little stevia powder. I find stevia's aftertaste a little too bitter to be used as a sweetener in many dishes. In hot tea however, the bitterness of stevia is unnoticable.

If you're going to have tea, naturally you'll need a little treat to go with it. But -- I wanted something that is also healthy. I made these cookies this morning, they aren't overly sweet and they are great with tea.

Tennant Oatcakes

These scone-like cookies remind me of Scottish Oatcakes, so I've named these after my favorite Scotsman, David Tennant, in honor of his birthday tomorrow. These scrumptious little treats are more nutritious , sweeter and spicier than their contemporary cousins. They are especially delicious topped with cream and drizzled with a puree of fresh berries. Serve with hot tea.

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup shredded fresh coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup dried tart cherries

1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger chopped
1 cored apple with skin
1 banana
1/8 cup blackberries
2.5 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp stevia powder
2 T Splenda
2 T coconut oil

Mix the oats, buckwheat, coconut, almonds and cherries in a bowl.

In food processor, puree the ginger and apple, then puree in the banana and blackberries (the idea is to use whatever ripe fruit you have on hand). Next, puree in the spices (use freshly ground spices if you can), salt, leavening powders, and sweeteners. (The sweeteners can be omitted if you don't want them or if the ripe fruit has already provided enough sweetening oomph.) Finally puree in the coconut oil until it is incorporated throughout the mixture.

Add this wet mixture to the dry ingredients in the bowl. Stir until all the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened.

Wet your hands with water, scoop out a tablespoonful and use your wet hands to form a small flat oatcake. Place oatcakes on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake in a 400 degree F oven until done. About 12-20 minutes (or when they start to brown on the bottom). If you prefer them softer cook them less; if you prefer them crunchier cook them more.

Recipe makes about 1 1/2 dozen.

My 'David Tennant' Oatcakes ;-)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fasting Day 70 - 125

Alternate Day Fasting has made so many incredible changes in my life that I am tempted to call it a miracle. No pills, no supplements, no meal plans nor member fees -- it is so easy and it really works. Maintaining my weight at 125 has been easier than I expected it to be. I keep fearing that the weight is going to come back on, yet time and again I am pleased to see that it does not. My energy levels keep increasing. I participate in longs walks or hikes on an almost daily basis. I've joined several different hiking groups in the area and I am finally beginning to get out and learn about San Diego for the first time, even though we have lived here for nearly a year now. Our poor dog can no longer keep up with us on these hikes and needs a day or two to recuperate. I'm imagining the day that rather than barking joyously at his most beloved words, "Do you want to go for a walk?" he will instead scamper under the bed and growl in disgust (just as he does now at the words "Do you want to take a bath?").

My ovary flare up lasted much longer this time (about 2 weeks rather than 2 days). I cannot write it off as 'ovulation pain' this time. I've decided to avoid the protein/water shakes on my fasting day as much as possible. My rationale (however misguided it may actually be) is that many hormones tend to consist of amino acids/protein. Since the body needs to scavenge protein while it is fasting, what if it was scavenging these excess hormones first for their protein components? Perhaps by consuming the additional protein shakes, my body no longer needed to scavenge these excess hormones that are creating ovarian cysts? This is theoretically quite possible. It certainly appears that the symptoms I had were lessening when I drank only water on my fasting days and that they began increasing again when I began adding the protein powder. Therefore, I shall try an experiment and see if the symptoms begin to lessen once again.

April 08 - Fasting Day 66 - 125.0 Pounds
April 09 - Normal Day 66 - 124.0 Pounds
April 10 - Fasting Day 67 - 126.6 Pounds
April 11 - Normal Day 67 - 124.2 Pounds
April 12 - Fasting Day 68 - 125.0 Pounds
April 13 - Normal Day 68 - 122.6 Pounds
April 14 - Fasting Day 69 - 125.2 pounds
April 15 - Normal Day 69 - 122.2 Pounds
April 16 - Fasting Day 70 - 125.0 Pounds

Monday, April 7, 2008

Normal Day 65 - 123.0

Yes, I'm still here and I am still alternate day fasting. Right now, I am taking a break from trying to lose weight and instead working on maintaining my weight around 125 pounds. Maintaining weight loss is really easy to do on this lifestyle. It is can be tempting to eat on my fasting day, but the health benefits of alternate day fasting are too good to pass up. My skin is clear, my head is clear, I have energy to actually get out and enjoy doing things again. Although, I am not currently losing weight, I am still losing inches. It's time to go buy smaller jeans AGAIN.

Tue April 1 Fasting Day 63 - 123.8
Wed April 2 Normal Day 63 - 122.0
Thu April 3 Fasting Day 64 - 126.0
Fri April 4 Low Cal Day 06 - 124.6
Sat April 5 Normal Day 64 - 122.6
Sun April 6 Fasting Day 65 - 125.4
Mon Apr 7 Normal Day 65 - 123.0

Monday, March 31, 2008

Normal Day 62 - 122.8

Mar 28; Normal Day 61 - 124.6
Mar 29; Fasting Day 62 - 125.8
Mar 30; Low Cal Day 5 - 124.4

Yesterday was supposed to be a normal eating day for me, however my boyfriend volunteered to do a fasting day with me. I cherish the opportunity to have a partner in misery, so I made yesterday a low calorie protein shake day instead.

We have been walking every day and we even went on a bike ride on Saturday. That was the first time I had been on a bike in about 10 years! I'm usually the person taking the photographs, but my boyfriend managed to sneak a shot of me from behind ... or "OF" my behind ... depending on your perspective (or his).

Just a Kiss for Luck

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fasting Day 61 - 125.6

I normally keep track of my daily food/exercise and then try to go back and write some little blurb before posting it to this blog, but lately I haven't felt like writing. I just went ahead and posted the past couple of days because I don't want to fall this far behind.

For the past few days, I've been considering maintaining my weight at 125 for a month or so. My body seems to want to stay at this weight anyway. Rather than fight against my body, why not go with it? It would be a good practice at learning how to do the maintenance phase. I will continue to do alternate day fasting. My goal instead of losing weight will be to maintain weight. Which should be really frickin easy because that is what my body WANTS to do anyway.

I know we all struggle with diet "plateaus" and fight against them. Maybe we should try accepting them and letting them 'just be' for awhile. My BMI is well within the normal healthy range for my height. It's not in the ideal range, but it is still healthy. It could possibly be healthier to just allow all the body systems to readjust for awhile. Maybe that is what a plateau is for. As long as our weight is already at a healthy point, why fight it? I'm going to continue fasting every other day, eating healthy foods on my normal days and exercising as often as I can on both.

I have a lot of emotional/mental work to do right now. I was so used to dieting not working for me that finding something that does work came as a surprise. I have a lot of sadness coming out right now from spending these past 10 years overweight. People can be cruel, but not as cruel as we can be to ourselves. A lot of issues are coming to the surface that were buried and hidden beneath the weight: shyness, social anxiety, insecurity, etc. I'm going to need to work on some of these issues if I want to keep the weight off, otherwise I'm concerned I would return to using food to build a fortess around myself.

1 scoop protein powder

Walk 1 hour

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Normal Day 60 - 123.6

2 cups oatmeal
(with DHA soymilk, shredded unsweetened coconut, chopped raw almonds, splenda)
3 cups airpopped popcorn sprinkled with coconut oil & nutritional yeast
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 banana
1/3 pound lightly cooked asparagus
2 vegetarian tacos
(whole wheat tortillas, tvp, hot sauce, lettuce, sprouts, onion, black olives, avocado)
1 cup homemade tapioca pudding
(milk, splenda, tapioca, shredded unsweetened coconut, eggs)

Walk 45 minutes

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fasting Day 60 - 125.8

2 scoops protein powder

Walk 90 minutes
Run 30 minutes (15 minutes in morning & 15 in evening)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Normal Day 59 - 125.4

I went through the freezer and threw away the leftover birthday cakes, and the leftover mousse pie still sitting in there from Christmas (the dog wouldn't even touch it). Having had too many times in my life when there wasn't enough food to eat, it is now difficult for me to throw away food. It takes self control for me to make a dish that feeds 3 people rather than 10 people. I'm learning that purchasing the individual brownie from the bakery department might be more expensive than buying a whole 'costco' type flat of them, however the individual brownie is fresher, more delicious, and it can be cut in half to be shared with a friend. There also won't be any leftover tempting you to have "just one more".

2 cups oatmeal with 1 diced apple, cinnamon & splenda
8 oz milk
1 cup cottage cheese
4 oz red snapper
1 banana
2 cups homemade vegetarian chili
2 cups spring salad greens with onion & bell pepper
2 T ranch dressing
2 glasses champagne
1 Almond Joy chocolate coconut almond 'egg'

Walk 1 hour
Run 20 minutes

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fasting Day 59 - 127.4

It was difficult not to freak out today with the weight gain. Especially after the long hike yesterday, my calf muscles and butt are sore today. That was a good workout.

We went on two long walks today, one this morning and one in the afternoon. Then we went running this evening. By the end of the day my weight was back down to 126. So, apparently the weight gain has mostly been water from TTOTM (...that time of the month...). That is a relief.

Tonight was the final episode of this season's The L Word. I've heard that next season will be the final one and it will only have 8 episodes. The L Word is my all time favorite show (ok ... maybe it's tied with Doctor Who). No more weekly "Shane-FIX" for me. NOoooo! Can't some other network pick up the show?! Please... ?

1 scoop protein powder

Walk 2 hours
Run 20 minutes

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Normal Day 58 - 123.4 (Day 120)

Today, we went on our first hike with one of the local hiking groups that I joined. We went up to some trails in the Julian Mountains and hiked for 3 hours. I miss the gorgeous trails in the Columbian Gorge in Oregon, but this was beautiful nonetheless. I was worried at first, because the trail was paved with asphalt. "Is this what they call 'hiking' in California?" I wondered. But we eventually left the pavement and started climbing, I had to stop and catch my breath quite a few times. It felt great and it was a wonderful workout. The group all went out to a local restaurant for pie afterwards. I declined the offer and went home. "Too Shy For Pie!" I was thinking. Maybe next time.

Okay, everyone seems to be in agreement that you need to eat more to lose weight. Well then, today and the past few eating days, I've certainly eaten enough to see if this holds true. After hiking, we were famished. We went to the store and got some fresh fish which my boyfriend grilled. I made a brown rice pilaf. We also bought some brownies from the bakery department and a box of ice-cream cones. We also have Easter candy in the house and I have PMS. uh oh...

1 cup Kashi Go Lean cereal
6 oz milk

(made with 2 slices whole wheat & flax seed bread, fake salami, meunster cheese, lettuce, mayo)

handful of raw almonds
1 brownie
8 oz milk
4 oz red snapper
2 oz cheddar cheese
1/2 cup brown rice pilaf
(made with brown rice, broccoli, bell pepper, celery, mushroom, onions, wine, butter, bouillon)

1 ice-cream cone
the tail of a white chocolate bunny
handful of peanut m&m's

1/2 lemon drenched in sea-salt

hike 3 hours

Friday, March 21, 2008

Fasting Day 58 - 125.4

No more "Pants Off Dance Off" adventures for me, I bought a new pair of sweatpants today. I used to wear extra large bottoms; but I've lost weight, so I grabbed a few 'large' sweats in different styles off of the rack. Then I went to the dressing room to try them on -- they were HUGE -- no wonder my sweats were falling down last night. I went back and got some 'mediums' -- even they were a little on the loose side, but I picked out the pair I liked the best anyway. I prefer loose fitting comfortable clothes. Maybe wearing loose fitting clothing makes it easier to gain weight without noticing? You know... when you can still fit into the same size jeans you wore a few years ago -- its just that 'now' you'll rip the butt out if you bend over too quickly!

I went on two walks today, one early this afternoon and then again tonight with my boyfriend. An hour long walk is so easy now, it doesn't even feel like exercise anymore. It's too easy, time to add something more to my routine.

1 scoop protein powder

Walk - 2 hours

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Normal Day 57 - 124.2

My boyfriend and I went jogging again this evening. My sweatpants & panties kept falling down because they don't fit me any more. I held the leash in one hand and did a little hop step every few feet so that I could pull my pants back up with the other. It's a good thing it was dark outside.

(It's the little things that nobody warns you about when you begin a diet.)

french toast
(made with 2 pieces whole wheat & flax seed bread, 2 eggs, butter, cinnamon, splenda)

4 oz red snapper
1/2 artichoke

2 cups of homemade tapioca pudding
(made with coconut milk, milk, splenda, eggs, tapioca & a splash of rum)

a raid on my son's easter candy - until he chased me from his room
4 hershey kisses
5 pastel coated peanut m&m's
1 mound's candy egg

** There's a candy-coated-sugar-binge-ogre standing on the sidelines and waving a big sign with my name on it. I'm trying to pretend I don't see him. Maybe he'll just go away.

Walk/Jog 45 minutes

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fasting Day 57 - 126.6

We decided to have the transmission in my car rebuilt after all. It's going to cost a couple of thousand dollars and the car isn't even worth that much as a trade in. My boyfriend is almost finished paying off his car. It will be much easier for us if my car can just keep running a little while longer. aaargh!

I joined a few local hiking groups. It sounds like a great way to get some exercise, meet new people and see the sites, all at the same time. We used to hike up in Oregon. There are some breathtakingly beautiful hiking trails up there -- especially when the wildflowers are in bloom.

1 scoop protein powder

1 hour

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Normal Day 56 - 124.8

Tonight my boyfriend and I went jogging. We walked whenever we got tired. He was surprised that I could keep up with him. Is that a compliment or a slight? Haven't yet decided. Anyway, it was fun and I would like to do that more often.

We bought the 2-disc edition of the movie, "I Am Legend". I liked the alternate ending much better than the theatrical version. Sometimes in my mind, I rewrite the ending of movies when I don't like how they end. This was one such movie that I rewrote in my mind. I was glad to see a more uplifting ending. The message was better too -- confront the monsters and you will see they aren't so evil after all. In the theatrical ending the evil monsters were too powerful and the solution was to run away from the problem.

2 eggs cooked in coconut oil
1 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp each chopped fresh tarragon, oregano & cilantro
1 green onion
1 T salsa
1 apple
1 T peanut butter
1 cup vanilla yogurt
20 raw almonds
4 oz Red Snapper marinated in Teriyaki Sauce
1/2 artichoke
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 cup whole wheat couscous pilaf
(mushrooms, green onions, celery, garlic, red wine, bouillon & butter)
handful of easter candy

walk 1 hour
walk/run 30 minutes

Monday, March 17, 2008

Fasting Day 56 - 127

My weight has gone up 3 pounds today. I was fully anticipating the weight gain today after the dinner we had yesterday, but I still feel afraid and slightly discouraged. I'm getting impatient with reaching my goal weight and tired of having to resist certain foods on my eating day. I want a day to splurge on cheesecake and chocolates, but I know that I would only feel toxic and bloated the next day if I did.

I'm interested in seeing how quickly my body can rebound from yesterday's overindulgence. I would speculate that as long as people have walked upon this earth that there have been feasting days -- when the kill was good, or the catch, or whatever. In order to help things along, I went on two separate walks today of an hour each. Once in the early afternoon and again in the evening.

I walked over to our local library to see if they had Gary Taubes book, "Good Calories, Bad Calories". It wasn't on the shelf in the 'new books' section, so I went to the health section and looked at the other books for awhile. Then I decided to go look in their online card catalog to see if they even had the book (it is a very small library after all). It said that the book has just been returned. I rushed back over to the 'new books' section just as they were returning some books to the shelf. Yay! There it was and I grabbed it immediately -- my lucky day.

1/2 scoop protein powder

2 hours

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Normal Day 55 - 124

Phew, we had quite a feast for dinner this evening. It was delicious. Is anyone else experiencing specific food cravings after alternate day or intermittent fasting? Maybe I always did, but I'm more aware of them now? I had been specifically craving lobster for many weeks now -- not seafood, but rather LOBSTER specifically. I cannot recall ever 'craving' lobster in my life. After dinner I wanted lemon liberally sprinkled with salt. Lemon and salt is something I've craved sporadically since I was a child. Hey, some kids eat dirt, others eat chipped paint -- for me it was lemons and salt. Not limes, not oranges, not tomatoes ... it had to be lemons.

1 1/2 cups oatmeal
8 oz DHA soymilk
20 raw almonds
1 banana
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 nectarine
1/2 lobster tail
2 crab legs
melted butter
1 cup spring greens
1 T ranch dressing
1 cup brown rice pilaf with green onion & mushrooms
1 slice whole grain bread
1 glass chianti
2/3 of a chocolate brownie
8 oz milk
1/4 lemon dredged in sea salt

walk 30 minutes

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Fasting Day 55 - 125.6

It is amazing how much further I must walk now to make it last an hour. It doesn't seem like I'm walking faster than before, but my walks now take me clear across town and back. They used to just be around my neighborhood and I got winded. Now I have plenty of energy -- it's the dog who is panting.

1/2 scoop protein powder

walk 1 hour

Friday, March 14, 2008

Normal Day 54 - 124.8

I keep getting more and more convinced that some kind of chemical is creating the obesity epidemic that is spreading across the earth. I know I mentioned this already in an earlier post. I was wondering, if it is a chemical ... say a fertilizer or pesticide or whatever... wouldn't the health problems show up in the people picking the crop? These are people who work 16 hours a day doing hard labor (by my standards) in the fields -- you would think they would be extraordinarily healthy. Yet, from what I have been able to research so far, the rate of Diabetes is quite high in immigrant farm workers. The irony is that American's aren't really hearing about it because of the way illegal immigrants are treated in this country and many of the workers do not have their citizenship. They are hesitant to get health care for fear of being deported.

Another group I wondered about is the people working in the factories that make these chemicals. Do they have insulin resistance problems? Yes, yes, yes they do! Several studies of factory workers exposed to chemicals have linked high dioxin levels in the blood with an increased risk of diabetes and insulin resistance.

Now the question to ask yourself, "Can you recall a time where you might have been exposed to a high concentration of chemicals?" At fist, nothing came to mind. But I wonder.... When we first moved to Oregon, the apt we rented was heavily flea infested. The fleas didn't bother my boyfriend, but me and my son and our cat were getting bit fiercely. I started bombing the apartment and even sprayed down the sheets on my side of the bed every night. I started developing a really weird acne and had to see a dermatologist who prescribed tetracycline and topical solutions and nothing worked to clear it up. I hadn't experienced acne since I was a teenager. This was all just a couple of months before my first sudden gain in weight -- 20 pounds in about 3 weeks! My weight had always been difficult to control, but suddenly it became impossible. My diet was exactly the same as it had always been.

I'm believing more and more that there is some kind of artificial chemical that is interfering with the insulin pathway in humans ... and its slowly spreading around the globe.

20 raw almonds
6 oz DHA soymilk
1 cup Kashi Go Lean cereal
4 cups air-popped popcorn
2 tsp coconut oil
2 T nutritional yeast
1 whole wheat tortilla
1 T vegetarian taco filling
1 T grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped lettuce
1 T chopped cilantro
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 T peanut butter
4 milk chocolate kisses
1/4 cup frozen raspberries
1/4 cup yogurt raisins
1/2 cup tuna salad with mayo, celery & onion

walk 1 hour

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fasting Day 54 -126.6

Yes, measuring out 1 scoop of protein powder, stirring 1/2 tsp of it into the glass of water that I'm drinking, really does alleviate any hunger or weakness throughout the day. At days end, I didn't require an entire scoop -- something about that slow but steady stream of amino acids I guess. I could easily down 3 or 4 shakes on my fasting day when I mix the entire scoop into a glass of water; but that seems to be just enough calories to thwart the depression alleviating effects of this diet for me. I like to feel happy even if I'm barely losing any weight right now.

1/2 scoop protein powder 43.5 calories

walk 1 hour

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Normal Day 53 - 125 (Day 110)

The shop said that my transmission is shot. They are going to see if they can locate a rebuilt one. Otherwise, I'll be shopping for a used car soon.

I picked up a bag of Buffalo Barley a couple of weeks ago at the health food store. It has been sitting on my countertop until I decided what to do with it. Today, I threw a bunch of things together that I had on hand and it was delicious and very filling. My boyfriend and I both ate several bowls of it. My 13 year old even had a bowl and liked it.

Black Bean & Buffalo Barley Broth

1 cup Buffalo Barley - rinsed
1 tsp coconut oil
inner leafy stalks of celery - chopped
1/2 large onion - diced
1 clove garlic - crushed
1 bay leaf
2 tsp Better Than Bouillon mushroom base
1 T nutritional yeast
2 T textured vegetable protein (TVP) granules
1 15 oz can black beans - drained and rinsed
1 28 oz can tomatoes (whole or chopped is fine)
freshly chopped herbs: tarragon or parsley is good
freshly grated parmesan

Cook the barley per package directions until done or nearly done. In a 2-3 quart pot, saute the chopped celery in coconut oil over medium heat until the celery begins to soften. Add the chopped onions and saute until translucent. Add the crushed garlic and saute for another minute. Toss in the bay leaf. Fill the pan with water about half way. Mix in the bouillon. Add the nutritional yeast, TVP granules, black beans and the cooked barley. When the mixture comes to a boil add the tomatoes and reduce to a slow simmer. Let the soup slowly cook over low heat until its the way you like it. The barley can soak up a lot of water, you can keep adding more water as desired or needed. To serve, top with freshly chopped herbs or grated cheese.

3 cups air popped popcorn - drizzled with 1 tsp coconut oil and nutritional yeast
4 bowls of Barley Soup (with fresh tarragon)
handful of yogurt candy coated raisins
tortilla chips with cheese sauce, salsa and veggie sausage
1 nectarine

walk 1 hour

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fasting Day 53 - 126.2

A special welcome to Christy. Good luck to you and I am really grateful to have you to chat with!

We took my car to the mechanic this evening. We waited until after dark when the traffic has subsided. The car wouldn't go into reverse, so we had to drive it through our back yard and out the back alley. I suppose we could have pushed it down the driveway. We are going to get an estimate to see if it is worth fixing. Bummer that I already paid for my son's golf lessons this month, since we can't get there. Maybe they will let me roll the payment over for next months lessons.

It seems that the lower my calorie intake on my fasting day the happier my mood is overall. I had less depression symptoms (actually, I would describe my moods as being ecstatic) when I didn't consume any protein on my fasting days. However, it is easier to get through the day if I have the protein shakes. Compromise. I measured out one scoop of protein and then add a pinch of it to each glass of water that I drink. This way I get a small boost of energy all day long.

1/2 of a protein & water shake 43.5 calories

walk 1 hour

Normal Day 52 - 126.4

I was going to make today a low calorie day and only drink shakes. Then I decided, "well if its low calorie -- then maybe I could eat some low calorie vegetables?" Mistake...once I started eating, I didn't stop. Therefore, today turned into a regular eating day. I still would like to do a few low calorie days (protein drinks only) while the weather is nice. It's become routine for me to fast one day, but when I try to go beyond that I start obsessing about food. This defeats the whole purpose, especially if its just going to trigger a binge. It's hard to find the patience when my weight hasn't been budging lately. Maybe I should just relax and trust that the weight will come off eventually? But ... I want results NOW...

2 protein/water shakes
1 cup cabbage
1 T apple cider vinegar
3 cups air popped popcorn
1 cup miso
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup Kashi Go Lean cereal
6 oz dha soymilk
10 raw almonds
1/4 cup frozen raspberries

Walk - 1 hour

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Fasting Day 52 - 127.6

My weight seems to have plateaued and its been bouncing around this number for the past few weeks. I'm thinking of doing a protein sparing fast for a few days and see if I can get the numbers to budge. As long as we continue to have this beautiful spring weather it should be fairly easy to do.

I found another good health site, They even have a group of people doing the Johnson Up Day Down Day diet -- which is very similar to what I am doing. If you are interested just go to the sparkpeople website and search for "Friends of Dr Johnson".

It would be nice to have the support of a group of people who can relate to my experiences. I've found that people who are dieting by cutting calories are kind of freaked out by fasting and people who are fasting get kind of freaked out by eating every other day. I don't really feel 'safe' posting my experiences on a diet or fasting site for fear of getting slammed with criticism. Therefore, I've been going this alone. Which is fine, but like I said, "it would be nice to have a support group".

Walk 1 hour

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Normal Day 51 - 125

We drove around all day today looking at houses. We would like to find something closer to my boyfriend's work. The closer to his work we get, the higher the rent unfortunately. Why does everything have to be so bloody expensive?! I don't see how people can even afford to do anything anymore -- its crazy.

I went overboard eating this evening. I was great all day (only had a bowl of ceral and a bowl of miso) until we came home from looking at houses and then I tried to eat a little bit of everything in our house. I wasn't really hungry, just feeling anxious. Sometimes it seems like a part of me deliberately sabotages my diet. It's like I have some kind of mental block that I need to work through. I'm accustomed to thinking that nothing works and that I'll get fatter no matter what I do. I miss being able to eat for comfort. What do you replace that with? I guess we all have days like this and instead of berating ourselves we should count our blessings. I've had periods in my life where food was not available and I had no choice but to go hungry. I should be grateful that the food is so plentiful.

1 cup Kashi Go Lean cereal
6 oz dha soymilk
1 organic banana
20 raw almonds chopped
1 T raw flax seeds
1 cup miso broth with fresh cilantro, onion & ginger
1 cup of chopped green & red organic cabbage
2 T apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 boca italian sausage
1 slice sprouted rye bread
2 oz swiss cheese
handful of yogurt candy coated raisins
1 cup oatmeal
whole bunch of pistachios

Friday, March 7, 2008

Fasting Day 51 - 125.8

Feeling kind of stranded now that my car broke down. I'll have to find a way to get it into the shop. If we still lived up in Oregon, I could have had a friend of mine look at it. He could probably have fixed it for me cheaper than a shop. Maybe its time to get a new car? Mine is 20 years old. I've been waiting for someone to introduce hybrid toy mini-truck on the market. I don't want a mid-size truck and I definitely don't want a big truck. It would be nice to be able to haul something the size of a small dresser once in a while. I thought those Subaru Baja's were pretty cute -- if something like that would come out as a hybrid -- that would be ideal.

I guess I'll get more walking in now. In addition to my normal hour long walk, I walked over to the grocery store to pick up some things. That was kind of creepy in the dark. Maybe being without a car will be a fitness boon.

Walk 1 hour

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Normal Day 50 - 126.8

I had my follow up eye exam today. He said that I could resume wearing eye makeup and exercising. Oh joy...

I think my car's automatic transmission went out on the way home. The car suddenly wouldn't go any faster than about 5 mph, which was scary because I was in the fast lane and had to get across 6 lanes of traffic that were going about 80 mph. I pulled onto the shoulder to collect my wits for a moment. A cop drove by but didn't stop to help. I decided to nurse the car home with the flashers on. By their raised fists and honking horns as they veered around me, I could tell this decision was greatly appreciated by all. Luckily, I was only a few miles from our house.

The pain in my left ovary is gone today. I am relieved that it was most likely just the normal pain associated with ovulation -- mittelschmerz (or however it's spelled).

a few bites of a salad (it was nasty, mall food -- drenched in way too much Italian dressing -- I threw it out and went home to eat)
1 cup Kashi Go Lean cereal
6 oz dha soymilk
1 organic banana
20 raw almonds chopped
1 protein/water shake

walk 1 hour

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fasting Day 50 - 128

The aminophylline cream cream arrived today. I ordered it online yesterday from That was fast! Plus, it was half the cost that charged for the exact same product. Here is the abstract from the article, "Topical Fat Reduction From The Waist", in the May, 2007 edition of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism:

Research methods and procedures: Fifty men and women who are 21–65 years of age with a BMI greater than 27 kg/m2 and a waist to hip ratio ≥average were randomized in a 1 : 1 ratio to 0.5% aminophylline cream to the waist twice a day or no treatment to the waist. All subjects were instructed to follow a 1200 kcal balanced diet, participate in a walking program and return biweekly to encourage compliance. A theophylline level was drawn monthly, and the waist, BMI and waist to hip ratio were remeasured at 12 weeks.

Results: At week 12, there was a significant reduction in BMI from baseline that was not different between the groups. The reduction in waist circumference was 11 ± 1.0 cm in the aminophylline cream group and 5.0 ± 0.6 cm in the control group (p < 0.001). The reduction in waist circumference was significant for both women and men, but the women lost significantly more waist girth. The waist to hip ratio, a measure of fat distribution, declined. Aminophylline levels were undetectable, and there were no adverse events.

I applied it to my stomach and neck. I don't think your supposed to put it on your neck -- the skin is too thin. The lotion absorbed right through, I could taste it and it made my throat numb -- then I got really sleepy -- could hardly keep my eyes open. Haven't checked, but I bet one of the side effects of aminophylline (or some other ingredient in the lotion) is drowsiness. Better just stick with applying it to the abs for now. Even if it doesn't speed up fat loss -- at least it makes a nice lotion.

Walked - 1 hour

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Normal Day 49 - 125.6

For those of you who are interested in more traditional fasting -- there is a supportive group of people over at the website. They have a couple of forums dedicated to fasting: Water Fasting Support Forum, and the Fasting For Weight Loss Support Forum. You might even be able to find a fasting buddy to help keep you motivated.

My son took his state writing test today. I promised to get him a new video game or a pizza (his choice -- but not both) after finishing his test. We went over to Fry's but he didn't see any games that he wanted -- or maybe he just really wanted pizza. I had a slice but couldn't bring myself to eat the white flour crust after all that I've been reading lately on refined carbohydrates. Like a little kid, I ate the topping and fed the crust to the dog. I don't really like white flour products anyway. I've always preferred heartier whole grains even as a kid. My boyfriend's dentist told him that whole grains wear down the teeth. Ack -- can we get any peace from all this conflicting advice?

It's all I can do to keep from binging on chocolate and candy today. I'm starting to notice a pattern of craving sweets right around the time I'm ovulating and again right at the end of my cycle. Is it possible that the female body might require more carbohydrates during these times? It seems to be typical that most women crave sweets at the end of their cycles. I haven't heard of craving it while ovulating though. I wasn't even aware that I did until tracking my eating habits through this blog. My left ovary is flaring up too -- I'm pretty sure that it is just ovulation and not the cysts returning.

1 cup Kashi Go Lean cereal
6 oz dha soymilk
1 cup cottage cheese
1 egg
1 slice of bell pepper pizza without the crust
1 T peanut butter
1 stalk celery
10 pieces Junior Mint candy
1/2 cup tuna tofu spread
2 oz swiss cheese

walked/ran - 10 minutes (mostly ran--yay!)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Fasting Day 49 - 126.8

Tomorrow my son has his state testing for writing. In my opinion, the people who own the company that landed the government contract to provide the testing are the only ones who benefit from these tests. It stresses out the teachers, the schools, the students and the parents. It only proves whether a person is good at taking a test -- not how well they know a subject. I already know that my son is a good writer -- he knows that he is a good writer. He writes for fun. He took it upon himself to write his own third book for the Eragon series based upon what he imagined should happen next. It wasn't for school -- it was just because he felt like it.

2 protein/water shakes

walk 1 hour

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Normal Day 48 - 125.6 (Day 100)

Today is the 100th day that I have been alternate day fasting. As of today, I've lost 29.4 pounds. That means I've lost an average of .294 pounds (or between 1/4 and 1/3 pounds) every day. Plus this lifestyle is really easy to do. I certainly wouldn't be able to fast for 100 days straight. Nor would I have been able to do a regular diet for that long. My metabolism has always been slow, I'm very short and in my 40's -- it's practically impossible for me to cut back on enough calories to lose a pound the old fashioned way. I couldn't imagine finding enough will power to stay on a regular diet for this long. I am still thrilled learning about alternate day fasting. I just wish that I would have discovered it about 10 years ago. Who would have thought the answer could be so simple?

Here is a promising new blog on intermittent fasting written by a certified personal trainer, Mike O'Donnell. He's interested in hearing other people's experiences and successes.

If you have a story to tell, please share it with others. I love reading about other peoples experiences with this lifestyle and have corresponded with a few of you who are trying some form of intermittent fasting or alternate day fasting. It would be wonderful to see this lifestyle blossom more in the mainstream. It is incredibily easy to do and has so many health benefits. Just as I wish that I would have heard about it 10 years ago -- I'm sure there are people who would be so grateful to learn about it. I used to curl up in a ball and cry because I couldn't understand why I couldn't stop gaining weight no matter what I did. I even got down on my knees and begged/pleaded for help. But I just kept putting on more weight, my health problems just kept compounding and I was in so much pain that I had to wear a TENS device all day long. Now, after living this lifestyle the pain is gone and my weight has returned to normal. If you are currently doing ADF or IF please share your experiences with others--get the word out about it. You just might have the solution to end someone's needless suffering.

1 cup dha soymilk
2 cups oatmeal
2 T raw sliced almonds
1 T raw flax seed
1 organic banana
1 T peanut butter
1/2 cup tuna tofu spread
1 cup cottage cheese
1 slice whole wheat bread
1 cup sliced organic cabbage
2 T lemon juice concentrate
1 tsp frozen buttercream frosting (slices of the birthday cake still exist - too much temptation - sigh)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Fasting Day 48 - 127.2

Still feeling queesy, but I started feeling better tonight. This is a new month, I'm not aware of any potentially diet sabotaging events coming up. Maybe I can get back on track now. My weight loss really slowed down this past month.

I went to a couple of different stores looking for aminophylline cream. Couldn't find any. I found several different types of 'cellulite cream' but none of them contained aminophylline. sells it but they don't currently have any in stock. They charge an extra fee -- above and beyond the normal cost of the product and shipping -- to preorder or backorder an item. That is ludicrous -- they expect their customers to pay extra because THEY don't have it in stock. Most businesses give customers a discount or special benefit for preordering an item. must be on drugs! I'll order it somewhere else!

3 protein/water shakes

walked 1 hour

Friday, February 29, 2008

Normal Day 47 - 127.6

Apparently, I didn't have a hangover afterall -- I have the flu. We went to Disneyland today and I still felt nauseous. Later this evening, my son also started getting sick. We had to leave the park early and go home.

The realtor wants to come by and show the house tomorrow to a different realtor. grrrr I don't see how they can honestly expect to sell this place. There are at least a dozen homes within a 2 block radius with foreclosure signs on them. Why would anyone want to pay 1/2 million for this dinky little house with bad electricity and a leaking roof when they can get a house around the corner twice the size and 1/4 the price? They are making a mistake in my opinion, because all they are doing is pissing off good tenants who pay their rent on time. We are going to find a different place. We're not going to sit here and showcase their house for them. It's an inconvenience and a nuisance to stop everything we are doing and wait for them to come by -- and we sure as heck aren't going to have people coming in when we aren't home. Now, they will no longer have anyone making their mortgage payments for them because we are moving. I told my boyfriend that I bet within 6 months we will drive by here and their will be a foreclosure sign on the lawn.

1 cup oatmeal
2 T sliced raw almonds
2 organic bananas
1/2 avocado
1/2 tomato
1 whole wheat tortilla
1 glass red wine

walked several hours

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fasting Day 47 - 129

I had a little hangover today -- I'm not used to drinking that much. I couldn't keep up with everyone and had to stop early. I felt like crap all day today.

We drove to Balboa Beach again, but didn't stay long today. We walked over to the ocean for a little bit. I wore protective goggles to keep the sand out of my eyes --I must have looked a little bit of a freak to the other people on the beach.

We went to see the movie, "The Signal". The scenes at the coctail party were amusing. The whole theater audience laughed -- all 5 of us. If they would have stuck with that kind of humor through the whole movie they would have had an underground hit on their hands. Instead -- it was just disturbing.

2 protein/water shakes

walk 1 hour

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Normal Day 46 - 126.4

We drove to Balboa Beach in Newport to meet up with my boyfriend's Mom and her Sister and Brother. My boyfriend's cousin has just finished her residency to become a doctor. Pretty cool. She looks way too young to be a doctor.

There was an overabundance of alcohol and food. I'm glad that I had the extra day of semi-fasting to help buffer the extra calories.

Celery sticks -- wasn't counting
1 baby carrot with some kind of dip on it
2 slices of pepper jack cheese
1 bloody mary
2 beers
1 margarita with salt
1 cheese enchilada with tomatilla sauce
rice & beans smothered in cheese
chips & salsa

Walked - 2 hours

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Low Cal Day 4 - 127

We are meeting my boyfriends family in LA tomorrow. There will most likely be food involved. I have decided to make today a low calorie day so that tomorrow will be a normal eating day for me.

An email message from Medscape piqued my interest today. It contained a link to a one minute video entitled, "Fat Reduction by Topical Waist Applications May Actually Work". It stated that in a clinical study, dieters who rubbed "cellulite cream" on their tummy lost 6cm more off their waist circumference than dieters who did not use the cream. If you aren't interested in filling out their membership form just to watch a 1 minute video clip, here is a copy of the transcript:

This is the Medscape Medical Minute. I'm Dr. George Lundberg. So many people struggle with body fat, generalized and localized. How wonderful it would be if a person could rub on a topical cream and make the fat go away. Three researchers at Louisiana State University recently published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism, a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial that asked this question. If 50 adult men and women with body mass indices over 27 kg/m were on a prescribed 1200-calorie balanced diet and a walking program, would the addition of the application of 0.5% aminophylline cream to the waist twice a day change BMI and waist circumference? After 12 weeks, the answer was yes, 11 cm less in the cream group and 5 cm less in the control group -- a significant difference. BMI decreased in both groups; waist-to-hip ratios declined; women lost more; aminophylline blood levels were undetectable.[1] Small sample size, but an exciting result, worthy of further study. I'm Dr. George Lundberg, reporting.

hmmmmm I might have to test this research out on myself....

3 protein/water shakes

walk 45 minutes

Monday, February 25, 2008

Fasting Day 46 - 128.8

I don't want it to be true, but drinking these protein shakes on my fasting day might be what has slowed my weight loss. Maybe protein sparing isn't really necessary? I've read anecdotal stories claiming that while fasting -- old and diseased tissues are targeted before young and healthy ones. It is possible that the body has some sort of mechanism capable of this. We know so little about metabolism and even less studies have been done specifically on fasting metabolisms. I've noticed that my skin looks younger and the cysts and growths in my ovaries certainly seem to have been targeted in the first couple of months of alternate day fasting. The healing might also have something to do with the inflammatory response in my body lessening (this corresponds with studies on alternate day fasting).

Perhaps it's just the weather, but I've been experiencing some depressive episodes lately. I've read studies that memories and emotions might also be stored within the body itself, not just in the brain. (For example, Candace Pert's work with peptides being the molecules of emotion.) Could fasting be releasing depression inducing substances that were encapsulated within fat cells? We, emotional eaters, frequently eat to bury away our feelings. What if we truly are doing that -- what if our emotions are being stored in the fat tissue right beside the excess calories? Incapable of dealing with them in the past, we must once again deal with these feelings as they are released from their hiding places.

2 protein/water shakes

walk 45 minutes

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Normal Day 45 - 128, Waist 29"

Today marks the 3rd calendar month that I have been Alternate Day Fasting. This month I lost 5.4 pounds. Altogether I have lost 27 pounds -- that is an average of 9 pounds a month. This month has been a rough one with 2 birthday parties. Birthday cake and weight loss must be in direct opposition with each other. And we still have that family get together to attend later this week.

It's time to record my measurements again.

Waist measurement:
3 months ago 34"
2 months ago 31.5"
1 month ago 30"
today 29"

Inches lost this past month:
Bust - 1/2 inch
Waist - 1 inch
Hips - 1 inch
Thighs - 1 inch off each
Arms - 1/2 inch off each

We drove over to a seafood market looking for some fish to make sushi. I really miss the Uwajimaya's Grocery Store in Oregon. We haven't found anything that even comes close down here. You would think that being on the coast in S. California that we would have amazing seafood and fresh produce selections. The produce in the store we went to was nasty and the seafood selection wasn't that impressive. We used to come out of Uwajimaya's with bags and bags of unbelievably fresh produce at an amazingly low cost. I could spend hours in that store just walking through the aisles looking at all the interesting foods from around the world. There must be somewhere like that here -- we just haven't found it yet. Why isn't there a wharf area to purchase seafood direcgtly from the fisherman or at least vendors like there is in San Franciso? No bazaars -- how bizarre.

1 cup oatmeal
1 cup DHA soymilk
2 T sliced raw almonds
1 banana
1 cup brown rice
1 oz raw tuna sliced (it didn't taste very fresh to me -- refused to eat any more of it)
4 oz mock crab
4 T shredded mango
4 T shredded cucumber
1/2 avocado
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp sesame seeds
pickled ginger
soy sauce
rice vinegar

walk 20 minutes

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Fasting Day 45 - 129

Our internet service provider (COX) keeps having outages. I either can't get online or when I do, the connection is so slow that websites time out. I'm having to backpost to this blog. This also means our phone service is down because we use Vonage which relies upon our internet connection. My son cannot do most of his schoolwork, because his "classroom" is on the internet with My boyfriend needs it to connect to his work. We will be going with a different service provider when we move. Cox is too unreliable. However, their cable television service stays up and running -- maybe they should just stick with cable tv.

Today we drove over to the Mexico/California border. They have a large outdoor mall filled with outlet stores. I bought two pairs of Levi jeans: one pair is a size smaller and the other is two sizes smaller. They both fit. The larger size is a little loose, but I think they will shrink to fit perfectly once I wash and dry them. The other size fits perfectly now, but will probably be too small once they are washed and dryed. I will have to "shrink" into those.

2 protein/water shakes

walk 45 minutes

Friday, February 22, 2008

Normal Day 44 - 128

Rainy and cold outside today. Good day to stay inside and watch movies. We watched the Korean film, "Nightmare" and the American movie, Crank. My son and boyfriend seemed to really enjoy the movie Crank (a guy flick -- I guess) they were on the edge of the seats laughing.

1 cup Kashi Go Lean cereal
8 oz milk
1 cup organic garbanzo beans
2 vegetarian tacos: whole wheat tortillas, lettuce, cilantro, avocado, recipe crumbles, taco sauce, cheddar cheese, black olives, onions, jalapeƱo, tomato

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fasting Day 44 - 130.2 (Day 90)

BBC Horizon recently aired an episode entitled, "How to Live to 101". It looked at the citizens of three different locations that have more centenarians than other places on earth: Okinawa, Sardinia, and Loma Linda. What is it that these people are doing differently than the rest of us?

Researchers found that Okinawan's eat 20% less than most people in Europe or America consume. They even have a saying, "Hara Hachi Bu", which basically means "Eat until your 80% full". (This corresponds with the research about longevity and calorie restricted diets. Alternate Day Fasting appears to confer the same benefits as a calorie restricted diet according to recent studies.) Their diet consists of a variety of fruits, vegetables, and soy protein/tofu. The researchers said that Okinawans eat more soy products than any other population on earth. They found that Okinawans age more slowly than the rest of us and their levels of the hormone DHEA declines at a slower rate.

Interestingly, the researchers also followed up on Okinawan's who moved to Hawaii. As their descendents developed a more westernized diet, they became even more unhealthy than westerners on the same diet. It is as if this group of people's bodies have adapted to require the calorie restricted, healthful diet of their ancestors.

The next group of long-lived people are located in the town of Ovoddo, Sardinia. Apparently this population's genetic lucky card was the result of inbreeding among the early population on this remote island town. (Yuck!) Inbreeding increases the odds of birth defects, but in this case the inherited defect was an advantage. The long-lived Sardinians are deficient in the enzyme G6PD. Researchers are hoping that by studying the Sardinian population they will be able to isolate which genes are beneficial for longevity.

The last group of people are in Loma Linda, California. This town has a high percentage of 7th Day Adventists. Their religion promotes a vegetarian lifestyle and prohibits smoking and alcohol consumption.

The documentary also briefly touched on the people of Glasgow, Scotland, whose aging is accelerated. The researchers hypothesis for this was interesting. They said that in the early to middle of the last century their were over a million people living in a few square miles. Childhood diseases ran rampant throughout the area. Some of the children developed heightened immune systems that protected them from infectious diseases -- a condition called inflammatory response. These children lived long enough to reproduce and thus people with this tendency for inflammatory response increased in the general population. This same overactive immune system is likely to turn on itself later in life and create inflammatory related diseases. Their descendents have inherited this heightened inflammatory response even though the conditions that originally created it are long gone. They are doing all the right things (lowering stress, eating healthy, etc.) but their bodies are still operating as if they are in the environment of their ancestors.

BBC News Magazine has an article, The Towns Where People Live The Longest, if you are interested in reading further.

Walked - 40 minutes

2 protein/water shakes

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Normal Day 43 - 128.4

I came across some PBS Frontline videos called "Diet Wars". Steve Talbot reviews some of the popular diets like Atkins, Dean Ornish, South Beach and Weight Watchers. He also has an interview with Gary Taubes (I provided a link to a lecture given by Gary in yesterday's entry.) If you do not have a high speed connection (or even if you do) you might be interested in reading some of the interviews with the doctors, scientists and other people featured in the videos.

Here is another interesting link posted on the Yahoo Fasting Group to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald. In this study, researchers measured how the ratio of protein/carbohydrates affected the lifespans and fertility rates of fruit flies. Fruit flies are frequently used in longevity research studies because they normally have a very brief lifespan. In this study, they found that higher protein intakes resulted in shorter lifespans -- but the flies were more fertile. Lower protein intakes resulted in longer lifespans -- but they were less fertile. Of course, we aren't fruit flies, but the study is still intriguing.

1 cup Kashi Go Lean cereal
6 oz soy milk
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 whole wheat tortilla
1 scrambled egg
1 vegetarian sausage patty
1 T salsa
1 cup chopped cabbage
2 cups boullion broth
2 T soy textured vegetable protein
1/2 apple
1 cup sliced english cucumber
2 T lemon juice concentrate

finger full of buttercream frosting swiped off the leftover birthday cake ... I should throw that cake out ;-)

I know the Doctor told me to wait a couple of weeks before exercising ... but ... it was cold outside ... not much chance of sweating.

walked 20 minutes

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fasting Day 43 - 130.2

This lifestyle has begun to feel really natural to me -- like breathing. It's like my digestion system itself is breathing -- taking in nutrients one day and eliminating toxic by products the next. It is refreshing and rejuvenating.

Recently on the Yahoo Fasting Group, there was a link to an excellent video by Gary Taubes, called "Big Fat Lies". He makes a convincing argument that excessive carbohydrate consumption is creating the obesity epidemic. Basically he states that without insulin it is not possible to store fat in the body. Most bodily tissues require insulin in order to use glucose. The excess insulin directs the body to store fat and only when the insulin levels drop back down will stored energy be utilized. I think he has really hit on some significant points that will help us figure out why obesity is suddenly spreading across the earth.

I find the "low-carb" results enticing, but I'm not ready to convert my diet. I still cannot accept that a high protein/fat diet is the healthiest long term choice. Yes, it is obviously a great way to quickly lose excess weight for many otherwise healthy people. However, critical pieces of the overall puzzle are still not in place. For starters, we don't know why cells become insulin resistant in the first place and we have yet to identify several unknown molecules and mechanisms within the insulin pathway itself. I agree that excess insulin is creating problems. But I'm fairly certain that eliminating carbohydrates in our diet would inevitably replace one set of health problems with a different set of problems down the road. Without a doubt, a diet of refined and processed foods is obviously unhealthy, but I'm growing weary of hearing people speak as if ALL carbohydrates are unhealthy. I think health comes from finding the optimum BALANCE for one's own body. That optimum balance appears to be different for each of us. I prefer to do alternate day fasting. I suggest you do whatever works best for your body. The main reason I won't do a "low carb" diet (hence high protein/fat) to lose my excess weight is because of a frightening personal experience that I had when I was younger:

When I was about 17, my boyfriend and I consumed a high protein diet because we didn't have anything else to eat. We were a young, struggling couple with little money and his parents filled our freezer with venison (deer meat) to help us out. I don't recall precisely how long it was (I'm thinking it was about 3 months) but I started experiencing a strange feeling in my back that progressively grew worse. I went to the doctor, they found protein in my urine but no signs of any infection. They said that I probably just strained myself somehow and gave me a prescription for a muscle relaxant. The pain continued to get worse and the muscle relaxers didn't help. My whole body swelled up and I was in a great deal of pain. My boyfriend finally took me to the emergency room. They said that I had a severe kidney infection and they couldn't understand how it could have been missed, they immediately admitted me into the hospital. They began treatment for the infection but I did not respond and my kidneys were shutting down. They called my mother and told her she should fly out immediately because I was dying. The antibiotics were not working, my kidneys were shutting down and they couldn't understand why. I started having convulsions -- which were excruciating -- it felt like I was going to snap my own neck. Gradually my kidneys resumed functioning and the infection began clearing up.

It turns out that what happened was that my kidneys began shutting down, probably due to the strain put on them by the excessive protein. The infection was actually secondary to my kidneys shutting down. That is why the kidney infection wasn't found initially -- I didn't have one yet. Perhaps the intravenous glucose in the hospital gave my kidneys the rest they needed to recover? I don't think I would ever risk eating such a high protein diet again. I realize that what we were eating was very different from what people are consuming on Atkins and other such diets. I might also have had an unknown kidney problem before I even began eating that way. My boyfriend remained perfectly healthy through the whole ordeal and he ate the same things I did. This experience is one of the major reasons why I switched to a more vegetarian based diet.


I am now adding protein shakes on my fasting day. Today I drank 3 of them. My kidneys feel fine by the way. It seems like it must certainly be healthier to get protein from a shake than it would be to take it from my own muscles and organs. As long as I'm not overdosing on it -- it seems like it would be beneficial to continue supplementing my fasting day with protein shakes.