Watch the Electrolytes

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I like bargain shopping, and that includes groceries. Since getting home a week ago, the only groceries I’ve gotten are veggies, and hubby told me we were out of bread last night. As in…totally out of bread. No warning that we’re getting low. *rolling eyes* How am I supposed to know we’re out of bread since I don’t eat it??? (Ongoing argument we have about groceries.)

So, last night I asked him to wake me up between 7 and 7:30 so I could get to the store when they open to get the day-old bakery breads, which he likes best.

I felt so drugged this morning I could barely crawl out of bed and into the shower. A little light headed. Really, really tired. And I went to bed at my normal time last night.

I don’t know why it takes me so long to clue in every single time this happens, but it does.

I do not take the ‘prescribed’ amount of potassium for the IP diet because I take a medication for PCOS that hoards potassium in the body. The problem is, I also take diuretics, so there is a tricky balance I have to keep. Too much potassium is toxic, too little and the electrolytes go off kilter and I fell like crap.

So, even if you don’t have my health issues, when you feel really crappy, I highly suggest Powerade Zero. It is IP approved. It isn’t an instant cure, but if I drink it in the morning (a whole bottle), I usually feel more normal by afternoon. If it’s your electrolytes, it should work.

Flavor is important to me.

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I feel compelled to write this post because I was looking through my last post, and I make it sound like all I did on vacation was eat.

This is not true. We did tons of shopping and tourist-type stuff. We toured Alcatraz, walked the entire length of Chinatown, Saw the “Painted Ladies”, went to Haight-Ashbury twice. We took a boat harbor tour, and did I mention we shopped?

The thing is, I love food. I love flavor. I grew up with a mom who was the best cook in the world. A lot of my life was based around food. Family gatherings, holidays, getting together with friends.

I have read a lot, lot, lot of posts about food addictions and that you have to “rethink” how you think about food. Yes, I overate for a lot of my life.

The last decade or so, I did NOT overeat, but still gained a lot of weight because of health issues that were not diagnosed.

I am not addicted to food. I came home from vacation and got right back on track with IP. I do not miss the sourdough bread that I caved and ate on vacation. I maintained the same weight for 2 years with torn ligaments and a breathing issue that made exerciser almost impossible. That meant eating an average of a 1200 calorie diabetic diet so that I didn’t gain weight. I can do that. I did that, as discouraging as it was not to lose weight, I made sure I didn’t gain any.

I am a complete believer that total deprivation is a bad thing.

Yes, if you have an eating disorder, such as overeating, binge eating, etc, then you need to “rethink” food. I was, a long time ago, a binge eater. I gained weight because I didn’t purge. That’s only half joking. I suffered from a serious clinical depression, and eating was a stress reliever. Once I got that figured out, I quit the binge eating.

Even on IP, If you’ve read my recipe posts, you can see that I crave flavors. I love, love, love Chinese food. I can go to a Chinese buffet (we did it last night) and walk away with a 500 calorie, 15 carb, 45 protein meal in me and not feel I missed anything. I spent years perfecting some recipes that I have now adjusted for IP. I don’t really have any serious cravings that I just “have to have” something or another. I don’t miss sugar, and I don’t miss regular bread. I don’t even miss butter. I do miss fruit, but I have so many fruity protein drinks that I get by. And I have a strawberry or two now and then, or sneak a 1/2 oz of frozen blueberries into my IP pancakes.

So, I guess what I’m saying here, is that I love to eat because I love the flavor of food. For most of our trip in San Francisco, I had a shrimp cocktail in the afternoon and I stopped there. Seafood is my favorite food in the world, and when I eat it at home, I make it healthy without butter, without breading. The way I saw San Francisco was that it will probably be my only time there, and I so wanted to experience all of it, including the food. Roast duck in Chinatown, Seafood on the wharf (including the garlic butter), coffee–oh I went a little nuts for SF coffee!

I wish I could share the way I view food now. I always make a conscious decision when I’m going to stray from the diet. And until this vacation (three months into the diet) I never strayed far enough to fall out of ketosis. All my extras were protein based. And if I would have avoided the darned sourdough bread, I would have done excellent on vacation. But that bread was a decision I made. Yes, I wanted it. Yes, it would take me out of ketosis. Yes, enjoying that dinner, in that place with my daughter, making a memory, was worth it to me. For the last 2 years before starting IP I made such decisions. I followed a very low-carb diet to maintain my weight, but there were pizza days. There were days I ate tempura at the Japanese restaurant I love. (Haven’t been there since starting IP!) There were even Subway sandwich days.

What I did give up years and years ago was huge portion sizes. I listen to my body, and when I’m full, I stop. I know not everyone can do this, and to those people, I agree, maybe you should avoid certain things. But in my mind, if I thought I could never have a real slice of thick, buttery-crusted pizza again in my life, what’s the use in living? Yes, a bit drastic, maybe overstated, but I think I make my point.

For now, I will not eat the tempura, I will not eat the pizza (until my next vacation when I know I will eat a piece of the best pizza ever made), and I will continue with the IP plan to the point that it doesn’t inhibit me from experiencing my flavors. Chinese, Italian, Mexican… But when I’m in maintenance, I will never tell myself NO, YOU CAN’T HAVE THAT. Sometimes all I need is a bite for the flavor. If it looks that good, and my mouth waters, I will take that bite and savor it.

I find this a much healthier way of looking at food than the people who deprive themselves, or the people on the forums who berate someone because they fell off the diet wagon and caved to a piece of chocolate. They make the poor person who is feeling guilty (seriously, I totally disagree with food guilt!) because they had a craving. I tried total deprivation as a young, overweight person, and all it did was make me fall way harder off whatever eating plan I was on, and stay off, and gain weight.

Guess what. I had one bite of my kiddo’s Ghirardelli chocolate. That was all I needed, and it tasted good.

I commend those who can follow IP to the letter. I am not one of those people, but that’s okay. I’m losing weight, I feel great, and I’m still enjoying life. I don’t count the days until this diet ends, as many seem to. I count the pounds I shed, and smile. I’ll get there when I get there!

Eating on vacation and not gaining weight.

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My kiddo and I spent 2 weeks between San Francisco and the Oregon coast for spring break. There were good days and bad days diet-wise, but I came home with a 0 gain or loss, and I count that as a real positive! The greatest thing of all was that I look awesome in the pictures. As in, I look happier and healthier than I’ve looked in about a decade, and I didn’t spend time hiding from thecamera.

Always in my travels, I come home 5-10 lbs heavier after a vacation, especially to a place where there is lots of food that I enjoy, like fish and chips and sourdough bread and clam chowder. I could live off seafood if given the chance!

So, here’s what I did…

We spent 5 full days in San Francisco. I kept my Ostrim Jerky snacks with me at all times, and I drank my IP chocolate drinks. But once a day, when it was time for the protein, we’d get a “seafood snack”. This consisted of, for me, usually a jumbo shrimp cocktail. These were great. Five or size huge shrimp or prawns, a little cabbage or lettuce, and a bit of cocktail sauce. Granted, the cocktail sauce was not low carb, so I made sure not to eat too much of it.

Of course, beyond the seafood there were the quick meals when I became desperate for my protein, like a bun-less bacon burger from Johnny Rockets, and the day we spent shopping in Chinatown we ordered a platter of roasted duck and roasted pork. That was amazingly good! Solid protein.

I also did justify eating more food with the fact that in 5 days we easily walked 20 miles…up and down the hills of San Francisco. I needed the energy and made sure I got it with extra protein.

The only issue I had all week was that the Ostrim has pretty high sodium, and by the end of the week, I was retaining a good 5-8 lbs of water, even though I was taking my diuretics. On the other hand, I was shrinking because I had to go buy a belt for a fairly new pair of jeans! This was all okay with me!!!

After the five days in San Francisco, on our last night there, we went and splurged! I wanted a full seafood meal, and went to an upscale restaurant on the wharf. I ordered the shellfish platter. This would have been perfectly healthy, if everything on it hadn’t been drowned in butter. I knew I was going off plan for the evening, so I had no problem with that. My issue came with not being able to say “no” to the freshly baked sourdough bread that tasted ohhhh so good dipped in the garlic butter on my plate.

I am positive I went out of ketosis that night. I had quite a few pieces of bread. But I said, that’s okay. One time the whole vacation. I even gave in and ate the piece of roasted corn on my plate. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal.

I do not feel guilt over the way I ate on this trip. Yes, I could have done better, I probably SHOULD have done better. But I have dealt with my weight issues for long enough to know that I lost 30 lbs in 3.5 months, and as soon as I get home, I’m back on plan and look eagerly to losing 30+ more. I refuse to let food control me or my emotions ever again. The time for feeling guilt over food is gone. I made each choice knowing that I was going off plan, and that it would take time to get back on. I ate the things I ate because I wanted to, not because I “couldn’t control myself”. Yes, the sourdough put me over, but I made the conscious thought to eat it.

I will be honest and say that the second week of the trip was really hard. I found it very difficult to find the kinds of foods I needed while traveling up the Oregon coast. The restaurants are NOT low-carb friendly. I admit to eating a few more pieces of sourdough bread…obviously a weakness for me. I ate mostly protein, but they all seemed high in fat. Steaks and seafood with butter-the only way to get seafood if it’s not fried. I will say I did NOT ever eat anything fried. I never fell that far. I even had a huge difficulty finding any chef/deli green/mixed salads in the grocery stores! I am guessing that eating super healthy has not touched that part of the state. There were days I didn’t get the veggies I needed, because I couldn’t find them. Thank God for Subway salads! They saved me a couple of times!

But then we made it to Portland, and spent 2 days there. I’m fairly sure I was out of ketosis by then, and I didn’t feel real great for the days we were there because I was going back in. I was able to get a steak one night - though trying to order one without potatoes or the “wrong” kinds of veggies was IMPOSSIBLE. I had to pick off croutons, not eat the corn, and pray the dressing really was low carb and they weren’t lying to shut me up because I was being realllly picky.

Then we had a food truck lunch (I could easily live off food truck food!) I ate Cajun chicken for the first time in my life-and loved it! Yes, it had the skin and was fried, but no batter/flour. Again, bad food, but low carbs. The Greek Salad was super yummy, and I, yes, ate the cheese and the balsamic vinaigrette. I shared it with the kiddo, so I only had half, but they put a lot of cheese on that sucker! Portion control seems to do the trick, since the scale did not move. I made sure to NEVER overeat, never stuff myself. This was a vacation from the diet, as well as practice of what real life is going to be like once I’m done with IP. Though, I won’t spend much of my life on the coast eating buttery baked seafood!

I also caught my first sickness since starting IP. I had some severe hay fever type allergies hit, and then a cold on top of that. Maybe it was just that I was exposed to so many people, but a little part of me wonders if my body was rebelling to my bad eating for a week. 2 days after I got home, the allergies AND the cold symptoms are all gone, and the same things are blooming here at home as were on the coast. It makes me believe again that my body was rebelling, and it’s something I’m going to have to watch out for in the future, when I’m done with this diet, I think.

Besides eating, and we did do a whole lot of tourist activities like a tour of Alcatraz, shopping Haight-Ashbury and Chinatown, and we walked and walked and walked and walked when we weren’t taking the Muni around San Francisco. We love that city!

We also went on a shopping spree. This is the first time in my adult life I ever enjoyed shopping. I am still in plus sizes, but I can now buy “off the rack.” I bought a few things to fit me now, since everything I own is baggy and falling off. But I also bought my “shrink into” clothes. I even bought my “goal” jeans. I feel great about this and so excited to get back to work and get there!

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