Blood Sugar Solution Feed

Brought to you by the letter P: Progress, Paleo, packet pickup, Planet Fitness

Welcome to my Friday Brain Dump! Here we go:

Progress: After having a hissy fit yesterday in the shower because the scale hasn't been moving, I slapped myself upside the head and reminded myself that I've been hitting the gym hard and that I am losing fat and gaining muscle, which is okee-dokie with me. The scale will move, sooner than later. I'm working on having two decent snacks in the afternoon and evening and GETTING TO BED EARLIER (oh, why is that such a problem for me!). I feel great, I can physically feel things getting firmer (my knees? yeah, my knees), so I know I'm making progress, healthwise.

Paleo: Today was my last day of a 5-day special deal from DeliverLean, a meal delivery service based in South Florida. I've had the opportunity to try probably every meal delivery service out there and DeliverLean is by far the best. The prices aren't crazy, the portions are decent, the food is really fresh and they offer a variety of eating plans.

A year ago, I wrote a sponsored post about them and stayed on their mailing list, so when I got a "5 days for $99" email, I couldn't pass it up. I chose the Paleo plan and it was really eye opening. 

(I hereby apologize to any and all Paleo eaters who I've mocked in the past. I love eating this way.)

I felt great, the meals were filling even though they averaged around 300 calories each, my stomach didn't make weird noises like it often does and my eczema cleared up. 

I had been cutting back on grains since I did Dr. Mark Hyman's Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox, so this plan was not a huge change. I plan on finally using the almond and coconut flours in my pantry and replicating the awesome blueberry-almond pancakes and Chunky Monkey muffins that I had in a couple of DeliverLean meals. But don't get me wrong -- I know that those are foods that I'll have sparingly.

Biggest loser runwalk race shirt 2014
Is that a cute race shirt, or what?

Packet pickup: I hustled on down (oh, if only it were that quick!) to Miami this afternoon to pick up my race swag for tomorrow's Biggest Loser Run/Walk 5K in Miami tomorrow morning, which is also my birthday. What a great way to celebrate year 52! The Biggest Loser Run/Walk is one of my favorite races, in that it's extremely inclusive. People of all shapes and speeds take part, either walking or running, and get loads of support along the way and at the finish line. The Miami race, which is at Sun Life Stadium (where the Dolphins play), is one of the first races in the series, which includes 5Ks, half marathons and off-road challenges at Spartan races. (There's a Spartan Race coming up next month in Miami but I am far too clumsy and mud-phobic to take part. But if that's your thing, then knock yourselves out!)

Planet Fitness: The inclusiveness of the Biggest Loser Run/Walk series also is why I love going to Planet Fitness. (Have I told you I'm the mayor of my Planet Fitness on Foursquare? Well, I am. I've never been the mayor of anything, let alone a GYM.) I've been going three times a week, pushing myself hard on the strength-training equipment, something I haven't done in awhile. It feels good to push myself and to see and feel the results (Did I mention my knees? Oh, I did?).

Gotta go. I need to get up at the buttcrack of dawn tomorrow for my birthday race!

Disclosure: I was given a race entry to the Biggest Loser Run/Walk. All opinions are my own.

I need to take something to the next level (but what is it?)

Color me frustrated.

(What color is frustrated? Gray? Purple?)

Frustration face

(Yeah, this kinda sums things up.)

That one pound that I wanted to lose seemed so within my grasp last week has turned into 2 pounds.

I delved into the stats on my Withings scale and here's what I saw:

Muscle up fat down weight same

Since I started adding regular strength training to my exercise, my fat mass has gone down and my lean mass has gone up, but as you can see, my weight is kind of flatlining with a very slight drop. 

While that's encouraging, that change in body composition has stabilized the past few weeks. I need to take things to the next level to progress, but I don't know what to change.

I recently switched up my cardio/strength ratio -- instead of 2 days of strength training and 3 days of cardio, I'm now doing 3 days of strength training and 2 days of cardio. (I also do about a mile of warm-up on a bike or treadmill before I strength train.)

Exercise is not my issue. I'm really enjoying the gym (like I LOVE it) and I've long enjoyed my neighborhood walks/jogs.

Food is what's freaking me out right now. And when I mean freaking me out, I mean when I wake up in the morning, I go to the kitchen and don't know what to do. I stand, frozen, in front of the pantry or the fridge, trying to figure out what to eat for breakfast.

Do I eat carbs? Make a smoothie? Eggs? Oatmeal? What will start my day off on the right foot? What will ruin my day.

These are the things that are spinning in my head whenever meal time rolls around.

It's exhausting.

And it's also frustrating the people in my "weight loss/health care circle." Do I reduce calories? I really don't want to get into that cycle because I'll only be cutting and cutting until I'm freaking starving all the time instead of, like now, sometimes. 

Here's where it gets infuriating. I get a LOT of books sent to me and lately it's a ratio of 33-33-33 of "not all calories are created equal and don't cut back on the good ones" to "I'm a famous trainer/chef/celebrity/nutritionist/doctor and here's my really low calorie diet that will work for everyone" to "cut out all these bad foods and weight will miraculously drop off."

I tend to lean toward the "eat the good calories" trend of weight loss science. Last week I got wrapped up in one of those "cut out all your favorite foods for no really good reason" books and I lasted half a day. 

CalorieMythI just started reading "The Calorie Myth" by Jonathan Bailor. I listen to his Smarter Science of Slim podcasts all the time (actually, a few of my pals have been on his show -- I'm looking at you, Brandi, Jenn and Lisa!). I talked at length with Lisa a couple years ago at BlogHer about her experience with Bailor's theories and it has taken me until now to finally give them a try myself.

His way of eating is "paleo-ish," which, I discovered, agrees with me, as Dr. Mark Hyman's Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet is a similar way of eating. Bailor's approach is very science based, which I dig because I'm a bit of a geek.

Preworkout drinkSo, off to the gym for the teenager and I! I came up with a new pre-workout drink, which involves a teaspoon each of Naturally Calm magnesium powder, Pines Beet Juice Powder and a packet of Emergen-C. I figure the B vitamins, magnesium and beet juice will help with energy, stamina, focus and oxygen uptake, which everyone needs at the gym.

And I have a great smoothie recipe I made with the beet juice powder, which I'll share tomorrow.  Think red velvet cake ...

For and against the grain: A detox postmortem

Grains world

That picture above? That was basically me 10 seconds after my Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox was over. 

Pasta? Sure! Popcorn? You bet? Handfuls of cereal? Bring it on!

Headache and 3-pound overnight weight gain? Yep!

I grabbed back the steering wheel this morning.

And I learned that grains and I have a tricky relationship. 

OK, so I did lose 3 pounds and took 2 inches off my waist. My stomach never felt better, I had tons of energy and wasn't craving anything. The plan is great -- I highly recommend it for breaking any addictions to sugar and starches. 

I don't recommend giving yourself permission to go medieval on starches when the 10 days are over.

Lesson learned, huh?

I'm not worried about those 3 pounds -- as quickly as they came on, they'll come back off. Today I had one serving of gluten-free granola at breakfast and the rest of the day has been grainless. I had one of the plan's big salads with lots of veggies, clean protein and healthy fats and felt fab again.

Dinner tonight will also be loaded with veg and protein because my stomach is still making huge weird noises from yesterday's starch fest.

As for added sugar, I haven't really added that back in and I really don't feel like doing so, which is a HUGE win. Yes, the granola had some but aside from that and a few apple slices that's been the extent of my sweetness for the day.

But that grain thing. It seems like when I do add it back in, I'll save it for once or twice a day and early in the day.

A detox? Me?

I'm not fond of the word "detox." Usually a detox plan involves not eating much and quaffing some sort of sweet and sour spicy pancake topping or a bunch of smoothies that look like the contents of a lawnmower bag.

10DayDetoxBut a few months back I agreed to take part in Dr. Mark Hyman's Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet , which comes out at the end of February (you can read a sneak peek here). The big thing about this detox is that you eat food -- three meals and two snacks a day.

Here's the detox part -- no grains, no dairy, no sugar and no caffeine. Yes, no caffeine as in no coffee.

I'm not an all-day coffee guzzler but I do enjoy a big ol' mug every morning. But this plan is aimed at breaking your addiction to sugar and starches, and caffeine is one of those triggers since it messes with your insulin balance.

That's the biggest part of the plan where I'm going to struggle so I made one concession today -- I had half a cup with a spoonful of coconut manna instead of my usual soy creamer. It was kinda Tomorrow (I swear!) I'll skip the coffee.

The morning smoothie was nice but not my usual, ie, it wasn't very sweet. It consisted of frozen strawberries, walnuts, almond butter, avocado and flax. It took a bit to get over the lack of sweetness but after awhile I got used to it and even liked it.

The plan is high in good fats and that's frankly scary for me, a reformed "diet food" eater. But darned if that smoothie kicked in 10 minutes after I drank it. I felt my hunger shut off like a faucet.

The lunches and dinners sound great -- big salads and lettuce wraps with clean protein, salmon and ratatoullie, condiments like olive tapenade and pesto.

And Dr. Hyman says it's not a "forever thing" -- this plan is a shock to your system to straighten out your hormones and brain chemistry to break your sugar addiction. It's basically a plant-based diet with some clean protein.

I just talked with Dr. Hyman on a conference call this morning to confirm one of my fears, which he says is common when you really have an addiction. You have to tough it out with the sweet thing -- no artificial sweeteners, no honey, not even stevia. It's all about turning down those reward centers in your brain, and if you're trying to make concessions like begging for stevia then, yeah, you've got a problem.

So, yeah, I've got a problem. :)

I'll let you know how it goes.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post, but I did receive an advance copy of the book and some nutritional supplements.