Saturday, December 25, 2010

What a Difference a Year Made

Merry Christmas! In a little while, I'll be with my family, celebrating with a low-carb Christmas dinner. We'll be snacking on the low-carb goodies I made for them yesterday: low-carb chocolate peanut butter cookies, pate, roasted almonds, and some goat cheese I bought. Why low-carb? Because in the past year, cutting down on carbs has solved so many problems for me and my mother.

A year ago today when I started this blog, I was eating a high-carb (~180 grams per day), low-fat, adequate protein diet. I was scheduled for a root canal. I needed acid blockers, four-hour naps every weekend, frequent meals, and visits to the chiropractor. I was also anemic and putting on weight. This, even though I ate so-called "good carbs" and worked out six days a week.

In January, I cut out wheat and began slowly losing weight and feeling less bloated. In February, I cut way, way down on all carbs (to around 50 grams per day) and the fat fell off fast. My need for the naps, frequent meals and back cracking evaporated. My chronic congestion and acid reflux went away and my shoulder stopped hurting. (One of my dance teachers made the same comment about her knee: sugar makes it hurt.) My teeth are whiter and healthier, too. Those so-called "good carbs" or "complex carbohydrates" are, except for fiber, just starch. They're sugar molecules holding hands. When you eat starch, it turns into sugar.

My mother is diabetic, so it's extremely important for her to limit carbs. She, too, eliminated wheat--even though she once said she never would. She understands what raises her blood sugar, and has gotten it into a range that shouldn't cause organ and tissue damage. (It was 99 this morning.)

But the biggest change I've seen in both of us is that our spirits and energy have risen. My hairstylist remarked that I'd gotten in touch with my inner 12-year-old; my mom has never been so happy. Was that the hole in our souls--too much sugar and a lack of dietary fat?


kellgy said...

I too had a wonderful holiday. I did what you described 7 months ago, lost 110+ pounds, and feel wonderful and full of energy. It's a great feeling not being the tired one at such a busy time. It sure is greener on this side of the fence.
Merry Christmas!

Lori Miller said...

Congratulations and Merry Christmas! I noticed you changed your photo awhile back, and you looked like you'd lost weight.

Here's to another happy year!

Anonymous said...

I'm inclined to give the credit, or at least a lot of credit, to reducing/eliminating gluten. less sugar is never a bad thing; but I don't think it improves people's moods the way gluten free can. Congratulations on the improvements in your health and sense of well being.

Your readers may be interested in this website which is a free support group for people trying gluten free for one month in January

I am not affiliated with this site in anyway, etc.

Lori Miller said...

Anon, I had reduced gluten about ten years before and had some modest improvements in my skin. Basically, I just substituted wheat for other carbs. I don't remember my mood or outlook improving.

Gluten-free is good--and to my mind, not all that hard to do--but I attribute my results more to reducing carbs in general and taking a lot of minerals.

Lori Miller said...

Oops--I meant "substituted other carbs for wheat."

Anonymous said...

The labeling situation for gluten keeps improving, for sure. There's still room for improvement though. This study discusses gluten cross contamination in grains that are considered to be naturally gluten free

Lori Miller said...

Thanks for the link. That's scary stuff for people who have zero tolerance for gluten. It's another good reason to eat what I call real foods (meat, veg, eggs, etc.) instead.

Lori Miller said...

Anon from December 26--having looked back at my blog entries on wheat from back in January, I see that I got more benefit from ditching the wheat than I remembered.