How I got Rid of Food Hangovers

One of the things that I love about Bright Line Eating (BLE) is that you do not have to “track” your food.  What I mean by that, is that all of your food is weighed, so there is no need to track calories.  The program defines what serving sizes are and what servings you can have at each meal.  For example, for breakfast, if you are a woman on the weight-loss program, you will have one protein, one fruit, and one grain.  There is a simple chart available that lists each category and serving size.  It’s so simple, that I had most of them memorized in no time.

This also means that since sugar and flour are the only things that aren’t permitted, that there are some choices that are better than others.  I knew this.  I always knew this.  But, I also know that I am not good at knowing or realizing how caloric some foods are.  The same goes for sodium, which I have horrible inflammation from if I eat very much of it.  I was having times that I was waking in the morning with what I call a food hangover–eyes, fingers, etc., swollen with water retention; weight gain; and feeling groggy.

Considering all of this, I decided to start tracking my food.  It’s not something that I like to do, but I considered it a necessity.  For that, I am using a program called Cronometer.  Here is why and what I like about it:

  • The free version tracks your nutrients for free.  Most other programs, require you to pay for this.
  • I believe it to be very accurate.  Not just anyone can add food to the database.  If you have a food that is not in the database, you can add it and then submit it to Cronometer.  You have to input all the nutrient information from the label and submit photos.  You can then use it in your tracking as a custom food.  Once Cronometer has reviewed your submission and it is verified, you will be notified that it is now in their database and it will be removed from your custom food list.
  • Since all my food is weighed, I need to be able to log my food by weight, not volume.  This has been easy to do with Cronometer.  This has not always been available for me in other programs.img_20190319_231453
  • It does a nice job of importing my weight, sleep, pulse, and activity from my Garmin.
  • I can creat custom foods and recipes.

What I don’t like about Cronometer:

  • Cronometer does not export my food consumption to any app or device that I have.  This has been a huge disappointment.  I have been manually imputing my calories at the end of the day into My Fitness Pal because that is what Garmin uses to track your calories.

This has been an enlightening experience for me.  As I said before, I was not very good at knowing what the caloric and sodium content of foods are.  But, with Cronometer I was able to quickly see a few foods that I was eating that needed to be cut.  With BLE, potatoes are considered a grain.  That means you can have hash browns for breakfast, and I found some hash brown patties at the grocery store that I fell in love with.  Not only were they high in calories compared to other grain choices like oatmeal or shredded wheat, but they were also loaded with salt.

Another food that I love that is high in calories are nut butters.  It was shocking to see how high in calories they are compared to other protein choices such as yogurt.  I now split my nut butter with another protein which saves me about 100 calories.

So, March has been a time of fine tuning and making adjustments–otherwise known as researchimg_20190319_231230.  It’s been a good experience.  It has made me more aware of what is in the food I’m eating and how it affects me.  It’s also made me try foods and food combinations that I don’t normally eat.  With Cronometer I can view my nutrients and with the touch of a button, view what I’ve eaten that day that contains those nutrients.  This has been a huge help in cutting down the sodium.  It’s nice to be on more of an even keel instead of having the ups and downs.  And, I’m glad to report, no more food hangovers!

Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.  Isaiah 30:18

 

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Celebrating 100 Days of Bright Line Eating

Last week I reached 100 days of Bright Line Eating.  Were all my days perfect?  Not at all.  I’m sure I had a few days in there that were a complete failure.  But, I did feel like I had acomplished something–that I had reached a milestone.

I’m glad that I stuck with it for this long.  I feel like it’s taken me this long to get in my “groove” so to speak.  It really never was difficult at all, but now it feels like a breeze most days.  I think some of the automaticity is starting to kick in.

I am losing weight, but at a snail’s pace.  It can be discouraging sometimes to see other people losing it at a much higher rate.  When this happens, I remind myself that losing weight at a snail’s pace is much better than gaining or none at all.

The peace of mind Bright Line Eating has given me is worth the slower pace.  Since I’m no longer eating foods that are addictive, most of the time my saboteur is kept at bay.  He’s locked away in his little cage, and I don’t want to go back to eating sugar and flour and releasing him from his little prison.

After losing over 105 lbs. through other methods, I am now finally dealing with my relationship with food.  I now realize that I am a binger.  Just as the Lay’s commercial says, “Bet you can’t eat just one,” I really can’t.  I cannot open a bag of chips and eat just part of the bag.  I cannot open a sleeve of cookies and eat one or two cookies.  I cannot leave a pan of brownies sitting on the stove without eating one every time I walk by.

Bright Line Eating has given me the consistency to beat the addciction.  Since my meals are planned the night before at a time when my stomach is satisfied and I’m thinking clearly, I can make the right choices.  If I wait until right before mealtime or when I’m already hungry, I’m liable to eat the first thing I find.  Since all my food is weighed now, I know exactly what and how much to eat.  My saboteur cannot later whisper into my ear and question my food, my quantities, anything.

Whether you have weight to lose or not, you can have peace of mind too.  Bright Line Eating is a lifestyle, not a diet.  There is a program for weight loss, but there is also a program for maintenance.  You too can be happy, thin, and free.

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.  
I Corinthians 10:31

 

Bright Line Eating

Hello, Friend.  I know it’s been a while since I’ve written.  I’m starting my posts again on the same schedule as before, Wednesday evenings at 6:00 pm Eastern time.

This week, I’m republishing a post from 2017.  I had discovered Bright Line Eating then and dabbled a bit in it.  I am now following the program and have just celebrated 100 days!  It truly is freeing.  I feel like it’s taken me this long to get settled in the program and get into a groove so to speak.

The journey continues.  Thank you for coming along.  You don’t know what an encouragement it is to me.


Bright Line Eating is a lifestyle routine created by Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson.  She recently published a book by the same name.  What makes this book interesting, is that it is written from an addict’s and scientist’s point of view.  Instead of talking about nutrition and how this is good for you and that is not, Dr. Thompson addresses how addictive sugar and flour is and how we need to break that addiction.  She even has an addiction susceptibility test that you can take on her website.

First she tells you her story of drug and alcohol addiction.  After getting clean and sober, she decided to study addiction.  Then she became a food addict and obesity set in.

After successfully conquering food addiction and obesity, Dr. Thompson has created her own food plan.  Except, that it’s much more than just a food plan.  Bright Line Eating is a lifestyle.

The idea is to make your eating automatic–to move the decision making of what you’re going to eat, how much, and when to another area of your brain so that no emotions are involved.  Just like you automatically do certain things every morning when you get out of bed–make the bed, brush your teeth, etc., –the idea is to automatically plan and prepare your meals.  The decision was made the night before, now all you have to do is eat it!

Bright lines are lines that you don’t cross.  The four bright lines are:

  1. No sugar:  no sugar or sweeteners of any kind.
  2. No flour:  no flour of any kind.
  3. Meals:  three meals a day, no snacks, bites, licks, or tastes.
  4. Quantities:  all food is measured.

Dr. Thompson also covers a myriad of topics and situations to keep you on track.  She recommends having a buddy that you can text or call when you’re about to go off your food plan.  She covers situations such as restaurants, traveling, and parties.  She also covers what to do should you break your bright lines.

Dr. Thompson also recommends things such as meditation, journaling, and a nightly check-off list.  There is also an 8-week boot camp and online support groups.

You do not have to be overweight or wanting to lose weight to benefit from this book.  This book could be helpful to anyone wishing to get their eating habits under control.

I have been following the Bright Line Eating plan the last few weeks and have been steadily losing weight.  This is a great feeling after maintaining my weight for the last year.  Following this program has taken away the worry of ‘what am I going to eat?’, ‘how much?’, ‘am I eating enough?’, ‘am I eating too much?’, etc.  Overall, I am now eating more food than I was before I started following the program, so I have never been hungry.  This is truly the simplest thing I’ve ever done.

A warning to you juicers, Dr. Thompson is not a juicing fan.  In fact, she is completely against it.  However, she does hint at customizing the program to fit you and coming up with your own bright lines.  That is what I have done.  I am following a 5:2 plan, where I am juicing two days a week.

I am also continuing to exercise even though Dr. Thompson recommends not exercising while trying to losing weight.  I know it completely goes against everything we’ve been told, but her reasoning for it makes sense.  Since I’ve been exercising regularly for a few years now and it is not something new that I’m trying to add into my life, I’m going to stick with it.

I recommend this book to anyone wanting to get their eating habits under control whether they are wanting to lose weight or not.  I found the science sited in this book very interesting.  I was expecting this book to merely be an introduction to Dr. Thompson’s program with a ploy to get you to buy more of her products, but it is not.  Everything you need to know is contained in the book.  With this book and a food scale, you’re set!

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. I Cor 10:31

Another Four Miles on the Fourth

July’s race for 2018 was the CRMC 4-Mile run which was on Independence Day.  This is the same four-mile run we did last year, with the same course.  The money from the race goes to support a local hospital.

This year, we had more friends join us for this race.  Cinderella decided that she wanted to run this race this year as well, so she also joined us.  Why she wanted to run this race so badly, I have no idea.  I tried to remind her that race time was at 7:30 am, that it was a 40 minute drive, so we would be getting up very early.  She insisted that she still wanted to run this race.

A friend and I went together for packet pick up the day before the race.  This was her first time to run this race, so after packet pick up we went and drove the course.  At least we knew what the course was this time!

I was immediately reminded of the steep hill at the beginning of the race and the hill at the end of the race as well.

Race day morning was ugly.  All the excitement of the race had worn off, and getting up and out of bed at an unreasonable time no longer seemed fun to Cinderella.  However, she did get up and get out the door.

We were plenty early, which worked out well since my oldest daughter still had to register.  There was a playground nearby that kept Cinderella and Sofia the First occupied.

Start time was finally here, and we were off.  The sun was bearing down and felt very hot so I was trying to run wherever there was shade.  After about the first half mile Cinderella decided she couldn’t run any further.  We did some walking and I tried to encourage her to do some more running, but to no avail.  Then I tried running ahead quite a distance, but that didn’t work either.

Finally, I decided to suck it up and walk with her.  She was extremely cranky, and being around her was not pleasant.  I reminded her that I was five times her age.  At one point she asked me to let her win.  I told her not to worry, that I would let her go ahead of me across the finish line.

At the three-mile mark was a water sprinkler that felt really nice.  Shortly after that was a group of cheerleaders.  For some reason, Cinderella decided that was her cue to run; and run, she did.  She took off like a bullet and there was no reason for me to even try to keep up!  She crossed the finish line before I did, and it wasn’t because I let her win.  She was so excited to get second place in her age group!

Afterwards, we went to the same local diner as last year and had breakfast.  Seeing men in uniform was yet another reminder of the great country we live in and the sacrifices individuals and their families make every day so we can enjoy our freedoms.  Thank you to all that have served.

Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof, Leviticus 25:10

Watkins Mill 6K

Saturday, June 16, was the Watkins Mill Get Outdoors 6K.  Proceeds for this race benefit the Watkins Mill Association.  As I mentioned last year, this race is near and dear to my heart.  I grew up just a few miles from the park (before it was a park), and our family spent lots of time there especially once the lake and trail were built.

The race is held on an asphalt trail that encircles the lake.  As all runners know, the first mile is the hardest, and this one is especially hard as you run across the dam in full sunlight–no shade whatsoever.  However, once across the dam, the rest of the race is shaded.

A friend and I prepared for the race by going to the lake a few times and running the actual race route.  Our last time to go around the lake was especially tortuous, as I had a few horseflies that decided I was a horse.  For about two miles, they were literally swarming around me and biting me.  In self-defense, I ended up using a towel to swat at them.  They finally left me alone at the end of the route.

img_20180616_075700768

On race day it was much warmer than last year at a bright, sunny 78 degrees.  I remember about two-thirds through the race thinking, “my feet feel like soup.”  We all know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare and the saying that “slow and steady wins the race.”  In this case, maybe it should be, “slow and steady finishes the race.”  The last few races I’ve participated in, someone has been taken away in an ambulance.  This race was no exception.  The only thing I can think of to do in those situations is to pray.

Finish the race, we did.  I don’t think that any records were broken, but the important thing is the good time together with family and friends.

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.  James 4:14

 

My Hope is in the Lord

This past year, specifically the past school year, has been the worst year ever.  If I were a new home educator, I probably would’ve given up months ago.

Fortunately, I have 21 years of experience on my side.  I know that problems don’t have to be fixed right here and right now, and that often it takes time to see results.  I am qualified and I know I can do this, despite the fact that my family is saying the opposite.

What makes me qualified?  I love my daughter more than anyone else on this planet.  The only one that loves her more than I do is Jesus.  I will do what it takes.  I will scour the planet for the answers, find them, and put their practices into place.  Just as Jesus will leave the 99 to go after the one stray sheep, find it, and carry it home, I will do what is necessary to find what my daughter needs and see that those needs are met.

Watching a child struggle is heartbreaking.  Searching and searching for help and not finding it can be even more heartbreaking.  Thankfully, God has led us to the people we need one by one.  God is great, loving, and kind; and with Him we will succeed.

How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the LORD his God,  Psalm 146:5

A Sentence a Day for May 2018

As always, May was another busy month.  Once it warmed up, soccer came to an end.  Then there were graduations and Mother’s Day.  Finally, Memorial Day is often looked at as the official start of summer.

  1.  Tuesday:  It is starting to feel like summer:  80 degrees and humid.
  2. Wednesday:  We had our first tornado drill of the season tonight.
  3. Thursday:  I sweated more today than I have in a long time, and it felt really, really good.
  4. Friday:  We had about a week of spring, and now summer is here.
  5. Saturday:  Cinderella’s last soccer game was today.
  6. Sunday:  I got to spend lots of time with Liam today.
  7. Monday:  We heard a loud crash this morning and later found that it was all of my medals crashing to the floor.
  8. Tuesday:
  9. Wednesday:
  10. Thursday:  I finally broke down and turned the a/c on tonight since DH had a fire outside and I couldn’t open the windows.
  11. Friday:  I am thankful that Cinderella got to meet some new friends today.
  12. Saturday:  It was exciting for a young man to get a “robin hood” in archery this morning.
  13. Sunday, Mother’s day:  It would’ve been nice to stay home and rest, but it was a good day anyway.
  14. Monday:  Cinderella got to go to an art class this evening.
  15. Tuesday:
  16. Wednesday:  I had a good run tonight, but I think I need bigger shoes.
  17. Thursday:  This evening was the last day of our C25K program.
  18. Friday:  The Brandon Russell Flash Dash is tomorrow, and it’s supposed to be a wet one!
  19. Saturday:  We went to my nephew’s graduation party tonight–it just doesn’t seem possible.
  20. Sunday:  Cinderella got to see a high school graduation today.
  21. Monday:  The first day of ITBS for Cinderella.
  22. Tuesday:  It was fun to get together with the C25K group one last time.
  23. Wednesday:  I made it four miles tonight, but it nearly killed me.
  24. Thursday:  I am feeling pretty zapped today.
  25. Friday:  We spent the evening with the princess who keeps getting ornerier and ornerier.
  26. Saturday:  I just want one day where people do things for me instead of the other way around.
  27. Sunday:  It was a hot and miserable run at the mill today.
  28. Monday:  I ended up babysitting the grandkids this afternoon.
  29. Tuesday:
  30. Wednesday:  We had a hilly, but interesting, route with the Rock & Run group.
  31. Thursday:  It was nice not to have to go to vision therapy today, but that meant doing it on our own at home.

 

 

Brandon Russell’s Flash Dash 5K

Saturday, May 19, was the second annual Brandon Russell’s Flash Dash 5k. This race is named after and in honor of a young man who collapsed and died after crossing the finish line of a half marathon in 2017. Proceeds from this race went to benefit the Brandon Russell Memorial Foundation and Children’s Mercy Heart Center.

Packet pick up and one of the race sponsors was a local restaurant and recreation center venue. I had not visited it before, but it looked to be a fun and interesting place. It certainly was jumping on a warm, sunny Friday evening.

After packet pick up, we drove the race route. I was glad we did since it had a lot of turns and basically zig-zagged through town. The one thing this part of town is known for is being flat, and it was proving to be a flat course with only slight declines and inclines.

Saturday morning, I woke up to the sound of rain. At least it was warm enough that we wouldn’t freeze to death if we got wet. I got ready and went to the race expecting it to rain all through the race. At least by this time it had become a very light rain.

As we waited for the race to begin, people were trying to stay as dry as possible by taking refuge under trees and tents. I found a tree to huddle under and was immediately reminded of an article I read the night before (complete with videos) on why it wasn’t a good idea to stand under a tree during a thunderstorm. I kept telling myself that it wasn’t actually a thunderstorm–everything would be fine.

And it was.

God showed us all favor by bringing the rain to an end right at race time. It still remained cloudy, which was really nice since it was warm and very humid. Sunshine would’ve meant a steam bath.

There was the young mom with the double stroller.  I don’t know who these moms are, but they’re at every race.  I pointed her out to my friends and said, “You just wait, she’s going to pass us.”

If you remember, my April race was cancelled. So, I had not actually run a race since March.  In fact, I had been running short distances and only had a few recent times that I had run three miles.  I was expecting this one to hurt.

And it did.

The mom with the double stroller passed me, but we all finished!

Afterwards there was a kids run that was really cute because the kids all got a yellow cape to wear.  All runners, including the kids, also got a free breakfast from Chris Cakes.  Yumm!  Most importantly, it was a good time with friends.

for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  Matthew 5:45b

Mother’s Day and Beyond

Mother’s Day was nice.  It is one day that I refuse to do any cooking and the one day that I refuse to go out at lunch time because the restaurants are always packed.  Friday and Saturday before Mother’s Day were both very busy, so I was hoping to stay home and do nothing.  However, that did not work out.  I ended up going to a movie with my two daughters, stopping to eat before the movie.  It was a nice day.

I’m now on the last week of my spring Couch to 5K program.  We met on Tuesdays and Thursdays and were expected to run one day a week on our own.  I’ve continued to meet with my Wednesday night running group.  I didn’t know how I’d like running three days in a row, but I have noticed a positive difference.  I’m working on a plan to continue after this week.

This coming Saturday is my first race since March.  If you recall, my April race was canceled.  Even though I’ve been running, I feel out of practice!

On the interstate today, we were passed by a racecar nearly 100 years old!  It was a 1927 Bugatti 35b.  How do I know this?  It was printed on the side of the car!  The man driving it was definitely a lot braver than I am.  Cinderella thought that it looked like, “The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car.”  I was driving, so I wasn’t able to take a photo, but check out these images on Google.

Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her rejoice who gave birth to you.  Proverbs 23:25

Consider it Joy

I was reading with Cinderella one day when we heard a loud crash.  It sounded like glass shattering.  We have a cat, so once in a while we do have things come crashing down when she’s not quite as agile as she thinks she is.  We took a quick look around and didn’t see anything, so we assumed the noise came from the family room downstairs.

Later in the day, I went up to my bedroom for something.  I was immediately greeted by a mess.  In a fraction of a second the crashing noise we heard that morning came back to me and the connection was made.  This is what we heard.  I was staring at my medals in a heap on the floor.  Every one of them had come off the pants hanger I had them hung on.  The hanger had fallen, taking everything with it.  My medal from the Christmas Light run had come apart, but it was dutifully blinking.

And that’s how the last several months have been.  Every time I get a glimmer of hope, things come crashing down, and all hope is gone.  Then the cycle starts again.

Everywhere I look lately, I see “suffering.”  Not that I see people suffering, but that I see suffering as the topic of conversation. Our church is going through the book of John, and we are nearing Jesus’ crucifixion.  There is no doubt that Jesus’ suffered physically and spiritually.  Also, our ladies’ Bible study group has recently been focusing on suffering.

I read Lysa Terkeurst’s book Made to Crave a few years ago.  I’ve had the Made to Crave Devotional for quite some time.  I’ve decided to actually use it, and now she is focusing on suffering.

Living in the freest and wealthiest country in the world, I can’t help but wonder if anyone in the U.S. actually knows what true suffering is.  Are we just a bunch of pansies that need to buck up, or do we truly experience suffering?

James 1:2 tells us to “consider it all joy” when we encounter various trials.  That certainly is not usually our first thought.  Our first thought is to consider it misery and suffering.  Instead, we are to “consider it” or ponder, think, turn it over in our minds to joy.  What a task!

Why are we to do this?  Because it will lead to endurance.  You can never have too much endurance.  I have written on this before.  It builds character which then leads to hope.  James 1:12 tells us that “blessed is a man who perseveres under trial;”

If you are in the midst of a trial right now, I want to encourage you to hang on.  Ponder and think about it, try to consider it joy.  Believe me, I know how difficult that can be.  Look ahead to what it will bring:  endurance, perfection, and hope.  And don’t forget that there is a blessing waiting for you in the end.

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12