A Journey Not a Race

I started my WL journey in September….a little wishy washy, not 100 percent motivated but I plodded on. And I’m glad I did

I can now walk twice a day up to an hour at a time where as before 10 minutes was a struggle. I can swim 30 minutes without stopping. I can take an hour long zumba class without being winded.

On the food front I was doing everything today’s society tells us is good for weight loss (low carb to everything in moderation) but it left me very hungry, grumpy, with severe gall bladder pain, always feeling swollen and bloated and my sugar levels were sky high.

Obviously it was not working for me.

And so after reading a few books and doing some research (life changing foods, liver health by medical medium, eat to live by Joel furhman and The starch solution) I challenged myself to go plant based this Summer (high carb lower in fat) for furthering my commitment to my health. It was a foreign concept at first but it’s working!

So far so good! A few weeks in and my body is responding. Sugar levels have decreased and inches melting. I eat a lot of beans, oats, veggies and fruit 😂💯 I have a long way to go and maybe you do too but this is not a race. Every body responds differently and it’s trial and error.

Sometimes we need a reminder of that. This is not a race. Our health and vitality has to mean more than that. Let’s enjoy the journey and learn lots while doing so!

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#remindertokeepgoing #dothethings #progressupdate

Plant Based, Whole Foods Lifestyle Week One – Results

This is coming to you a little late! Starting to type this out Monday evening but I know realistically I will not be posting until Tuesday lol. These past few weeks (and few days) have been super busy! We are both trying to get our shit together and pack for our holidays. Brent is going on a guys fishing trip which he does every year and I will be going to the lake where my parents live with Lola! Cannot wait to smell that fresh lake air.

Ok let’s get right too it!

My first full week of plant based eating went really well! I wrote out what I ate and how I felt each day so I’m just going to copy and paste those notes here. Full Weight loss results and photos will be near the end. Some photos are included but not all.

Monday July First

Start Weight – 265 (September)

Current Weight and Start of Week 1 PB – 250

Breakfast: Warm lemon water. Half cup of oatmeal with almond milk (unsweetened) and almond butter.

Lunch: Protein shake (Sunwarrior plant based chocolate protein powder)

Dinner: A mix of riced cauliflower, onions, peppers, mushroom broth, spices

Snack: Cherries and watermelon

Went for walk in evening – not long enough but it’s so hot out. I need to schedule a walk early morning and evening so that I knock it out. Brent offered me chicken today. I had to remind him of the plan and that im going to see it through. Slightly irritated but feeling good. Took all of my vitamins/supplements. Early to bed.

Tuesday July 2

Breakfast: Warm lemon water. Half cup of oatmeal, almond milk, 1tbsp almond butter, 2-3 tbsp frozen fruit (mixed berries)

Snack: Cherries and Oranges

Lunch: Chopped salad with homemade pico de gallo, cucumber, cabbage, celery, lemon juice, peanut sauce

Snack: Leftover cooked caulfilower and mixed peppers

Dinner: Two veggies burgers, cooked veggies with peanut sauce

Snack: Watermelon

Went for a 25 minute walk in the morning. It was so hot and humid. I have this hunger pit in my stomach. I took my vitamins and supplements.

Went for a drive in the evening – husband got iced coffee…I politely declined – the scent waft of Tim hortons made me salivate…muffins, churros, bagels, sausage…I want it all – happy with myself for saying no.

TMI alert but there has been LOTS OF POOPING..is it normal to poop this much???? Wow.

I have noticed that I get bored a lot so instead of snacking I get the H20 – results in more hydrated self and lots of peeing. I never drink enough water before so this is good. Didn’t get my evening walk because of rain. Early to bed. Good sleep last night although up once to use the washroom. I’m a pooping machine.

Wednesday July

Weighed in 245.6 (started this at 250) ok so wow..weight loss! It’s happening.

Breakfast : Water with lime. Protein Shake – Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder. Should just be a hemp protein powder single source but this is what I have and it’s plant based so going with it. I blended it with almond milk, half a frozen banana, water and ice.

I Took my vitamins and supplements.

Snack : Cherries

Lunch: Rainbow rice paper wraps (was quite proud of these) I used 3 rice paper wraps and the filling was mixed greens and cilantro with lime juice, cucumber, red peppers, red cabbage and peanut sauce to dip.

Dinner: chopped salad – lots of mixed greens, cucumber, red pepper, red cabbage, sunflowers seeds dressed with Dr foos coconut sauce and lime juice.

Internet was down most of the day and evening – watched 2 episodes of season one the OC, leafed through the Kind diet by Alicia Silverstone which I bought back in 2009 – I guess I have always been interested in plant based, vegetarian, vegan eating but could never really see it through! We planted onions in the garden tonight and going to be in bed by 10:00.

Something I’m noticing – not waking up feeling swollen (hands, feet) and sinuses are so clear. Usually congested when I wake up mornings in the summer due to seasonal allergies. But everything is so clear. It’s a nice feeling.

Thursday July 4th

Weighed in at 244.2

Not going to weigh now until Monday as I know it will soon start to taper..so that’s almost 6 pounds since Monday and just over 20 pounds altogether since I started this weight loss journey.

Was very hungry when I woke up..I’m learning what true hunger is (pit in the throat, feel it in the back)

Breakfast: I had just over half cup quick cooking oats with unsweetened almond milk, pumpkin pie spice, 3 tbsp of frozen fruit, 1 tsp manuka honey and 1 tbsp almond butter.

Lunch was quick and easy : half cup cooked rice noodle, left over cooked frozen veggie, peanut sauce and hot sauce

Snack: handful of cherries

Dinner was on the road : vegetarian burrito: Filling: black beans, rice, guacamole, lettuce, pico de gallo, hot sauce, corn etc etc Should NOT have got the green jalapenos. Not feeling the best this morning (sore stomach)

Friday July 5th

Woke up had glass of water

No weighing today as I know it will be tapering down now. Will weigh Monday morning to see the total amount lost for the week. As of yesterday I was 244 and started the week at around 250ish (Started in September at 265)

I enjoyed a Teccino Coffee alternative – tea – roasted dandelion and caramel nut. It’s not so bad if you let it cool for a bit and I also used  a coconut milk creamer. I haven’t had coffee in almost two weeks. That is huge for me. Coffee is a stimulant and I really need to give my adrenals a rest right now and nourish them back to life.

Stomach is a bit off and im tired today – maybe it’s because I haven’t had coffee? Lol No headaches..just tired. Also I should not have got spicy green jalapenos on the burrito last night. That has thrown my stomach way off.

Breakfast: half cup oats with almond milk, almond butter, 2 strawberries mashed up and 1 tsp maple syrup.

Lunch – 2 wraps: 1 cup refried Amys organic beans, lots of homemade pico de gallo, mixed greens, red pepper, cucumbers, and  1-2 tbsp of the homemade cashew “sour cream” that I made – grilled up served warm.

Just feeling tired and irritated today. People working on our house so I have to be home at all times. Lots of loud noises and haven’t been spending much time outside and haven’t gotten my walks. Feeling lazy and sluggish.

Dinner: Asparagus and a mix of riced cauliflower with pico de gallo, spices and cashew sauce

Saturday July 6th

Busy day today

Had my lemon water

Breakfast – two beyond meat sausage biscuit sandwiches and a tecchino dandelion caramel nut tea. I know this was a “processed food breakfast” But I’m ok with it. Doing the best I can and my choices are still a great improvement from how I was eating before. This was a nice weekend treat and I was super curious to try this popular “beyond meat” movement! It was actually pretty good.

Lots of running around today – busy getting Brent ready for his fishing trip.

Did a ton of walking around Costco LOL Does that count for my walk?

Brutal heatwave happening around here. Can’t wait until it breaks. It’s not safe to take Lola for walks in this heat.

Lunch : Left over asparagus and lots of fresh local strawberries and watermelon

Dinner – Loaded baked potato with cooked black beans which I just added a bunch of spices too and veggie broth, pico de gallo and cashew cream sauce

Was out all evening visiting sister in laws new house

Sunday July 7th

Today seemed to be the busiest day of life.

I took care and entertained our 2 neices today while Brent was at work.

We did lots of walking outside, swimming in the pool, and lots of different activities (how do moms do it? Lol) By the end of the day I was so tired.

Breakfast: half cup of oats, almond butter, maple syrup and almond milk

Lunch: one wrap, black beans, pico de gallo and cashew sauce

Dinner: I was offered an ooey gooey cheese and olive pizza (my fave) I politely declined and sat and ate my meal in a separate room to decompress a bit from the day. Brent and the girls ate their pizza. I had a giant baked potato the size of my head topped with grilled onions, cuban black beans, pico de gallo and cashew cream sauce.

A few days ago I picked up a blood testing meter at Costco (just to test periodically to make sure I’m on track)

Two weeks ago my A1C level was over 10 (diabetic) The past few days I have been getting blood glucose readings in the 7.1 and 7.3 range for before breakfast blood sugar level readings and a few hours after meals. I love seeing the green light reading “within range”. This tells me that I am on the right path with what I’m eating, what I’m doing for exercise and overall making the lifestyle changes I have desperately been needing to make. Hopefully with consistency my A1C continues to lower as well as stabilizes. I will continue to test and share with you the results. The naturopath will be checking my blood A1C again in September.

Just for reference

Diabetes Canada (formerly the Canadian Diabetes Association) suggests the following A1c and blood glucose ranges as a general guide.

  • Most adults (non-pregnant) 
    • A1c: 7.0% or less
    • Blood glucose:
      • Fasting and before meals: 4.0 to 7.0 millimoles per litre (mmol/L)
      • 2 hours after meals: 5.0 to 10.0 mmol/L or 5.0 to 8.0 mmol/L if A1c targets are not being met

I have been eating all of the fruit, oatmeal and good healthy carbs (that most of the medical diabetic community tells us is bad for those with diabetes) But I have also been keeping fat low and each time I have tested my blood it has been within range.

I feel like so much of what is out there for the diabetic community is a scam. They keep the diabetics in “maintenance mode” not really getting any better but not getting any worse off with potentially harmful medications and harmful diets such as low carb and high fat. It has been scientifically proven that many of the diabetic medications out there have damaging effects on the liver and the heart.

Monday Weigh in – End of Week One

I weighed in today at 242 pounds. That’s 8 pounds down in week 1. Onto week two! I am so happy with the progress and going to keep going.

Cheers to week two!

I have more photos to include in the next post but for now I will leave you with this one.

Transitioning

Well, almost a week has passed since I heard those three words.

I’ve been making adjustments and getting my shit together where and when needed. Over the course of last week I started removing animal products, oils, processed foods and anything too sugary (chocolate bars, cake, candy etc).

I put together a simple document on excel to keep track of daily supplements (most from my naturopath and some my choice- and I will make a separate post about that soon), as well as my daily exercise. I wasn’t consistent the past few months with any kind of supplements and never really ever took any sort of vitamins in the past so this is a big help in keeping me on track and organized. Besides the food this has been one of the biggest adjustments for me.

I have been walking every day – some days 25-30 minutes some days 45 minutes and beyond. My doctor says to aim for 45-60 minutes so that is always the goal. I couldn’t even walk around the block last year so I do feel an improvement in this area. Hopefully with a little hard work, focus and consistency my stamina and strength continues to improve. I will also be adding some upper body workouts with small weights to the mix.

As I said before, I have been eliminating animal products and oils as per Eat to Live (Dr.Furhman) nutrarian princples. I have been increasing the greens, veggies, fruits, beans and seeds. As I’ve said before (and if you have followed my previous blogs…I have tried things like low carb, keto and even “everything in moderation” and unfortunately that hasn’t quite cut it for me. I have come along way from my binge eating days – this is true – but I still have a long road to travel down as far as weight loss and health is concerned. Plant based eating at least 90 percent of the time just makes the most sense to me from everything I have researched and studied. I need to fill my body with ALL the nutrients and hopefully bring down my sugar levels and inflammation in the body.

I have to get my thoughts and mindset straight and advocate for myself and my health. I just have to “do the things”…take the supplements, go for the walks, eat the big salads, make good food choices, get lots of outside time to improve Vitamin D levels, follow through when I say I’m gonna follow through, bring stress levels down and really practice mindfulness this Summer and beyond. I dub this Summer “The Summer of Healing”. I have a good feeling about this! Nothing snaps you back to reality like a doctor telling you that you have diabetes! Despite the binge eating days being behind me and making better food choices and exercising more it still doesn’t change the reality that I have diabetes and I’m still obese. I hate that word but in reality that is the correct term.

In the past I have went along with other peoples choices to be a good friend, a good wife, good company (food choices, sitting on the couch instead of going for that walk etc) putting my health at risk to make them happy or to be low maintenance as to not inconvenience those around me. I have probably been a bad influence myself at times to friends and family, falling pray to the cravings of junk food. It goes both ways.

For months I read all of the plant based books, followed the plant based bloggers, heard and watched their inspirational stories of healing and thought/wished that could be me. I wasted a lot of time when I could have put forth energy into my own journey. But I have to say good bye to that complacent and content to let life pass by Jocelyn. Good bye to the people pleaser. I will now be putting myself as a priority. My health is more important than the approval or judgement of those around me. If it bothers them that I’m making these life style changes then that’s none of my business.

Over the next 6 weeks or so I will be following a plant based, whole foods, low in fat (but not all fat) diet. As long as I make the goal to try to make good choices (fruits veggies, seeds, nuts, small amount of grains) each day and to avoid animal products, oils and processed foods then I can’t go wrong! I will loosely be following a mixture of Dr. Furhmans Eat to Live “nutriarian” lifestyle. I have been reading and re reading his “Eat to Live” book and I have it highlighted and at the ready at all times to refer back to. I will also be adding some of Medical Mediums amazing healing protocols into the mix. I love his book Liver Rescue and Life Changing Foods. Definitely gives you lots to think about!

I will be updating at the end of each of the 6 weeks with what I ate, how I’m feeling, sugar levels, detox symptoms, stress levels, body shots, weight loss (hopefully) and anything else that is going on in my crazy life! Overall this is the place where I will be intimately sharing my life style change and weight loss journey. I hope some of you will be able to follow along on this journey with me. At one point I was sharing about how my somewhat high stress child hood and upbringing contributed a great deal to my current health issues and mindset that I am living with today. That might be somewhat still true but I refuse to let my past define me. I had yet to make this connection while I was writing about my turbulent past. The connection being that it’s now time to be the care taker I needed when I was little, in my teens and even throughout my 20s. It’s time to be my own cheerleader and be in my own corner day in and day out. It’s time to break the cycle and unhealthy patterns I fell into again and again and again. It starts and ends with me. Simple as that. I am responsible for my thoughts, actions, behaviours and daily choices – nobody else has any influence over that. Ultimately this is what will see me through.

“You Have Diabetes”

Well… yesterday June 19th 2019, I received a call later on in the afternoon from my doctors office wondering if I could come in that evening to discuss the results from my first blood test. The first blood test I have had in over 12 years.

I thought to myself “geeze, I was scheduled to come in, in a months time, I wonder what could be wrong??” I had several thoughts going through my mind….but I guess I was in complete denial because I really didn’t expect to hear these three words...”you have diabetes”

Lets rewind a bit.

For so long I thought I had autoimmune issues and I chalked my struggle with weight/health issues to previous thyroid issues. I know I had been diagnosed hypothyroid when I was younger but really had not been on top of or in the loop as far as what was going on inside my body for the past 10-12 years.

Who knows how long my sugar levels have been crazy out of control but it explains SO MUCH. It’s not like this couldn’t have been a possibility either. My dad has had type two diabetes for quite some time. I guess I was just in complete denial. So the doctor says “well the good news is, you are not autoimmune but your thyroid IS a bit sluggish due to extreme low Vitamin D and vitamin B12 levels and the bad news is you are diabetic”.

Now…let’s go back to the diabetes. Like I said, It shouldn’t be a complete shock. Why? Lets see…my dad has type two diabetes, my grandpa and several other family members also had it. Plus, my past with chronic binge eating really REALLY shitty processed foods for years and years, binging and restricting, yo-yo dieting and lack of exercise, high stress levels, chronic yeast infections, candida overgrowth, skin disturbances, PCOS and the list goes on plus well hey…I’m OBESE (so says my BMI) so theres that for connecting the dots. I guess I have just been in complete denial that this all really could be from unregulated sugar issues. And I could blame my past trauma and all the shit I have experienced but lets get one thing straight – I have created this right now in my adult life. I have been an adult for 15 years. I could have turned things around instead of blaming everything on my past….but I didn’t. I had not been taking proper care of myself for most of my adult life and the ownership is completely on me.

My fasting A1C was just over 10. She asked me if I wanted to see my family doctor about this issue to discuss medications OR with a glimmer of hope in her eye….”did I want to work with her for 3-6 months to turn these numbers around and hopefully avoid conventional medications completely?”. Well, me being the shape shifter/rebel/black sheep of the family definitely took the latter. She mentioned that she had worked with plenty of folks who had much higher numbers and that slowly but surely things got turned around for the better.

So…issues I am dealing with so says my blood and the lab: Diabetes, PCOS, Slightly hypothyroid, Vitamin D Deficient (extreme) Vitamin B12 Deficient, Sluggish GallBladder function, clogged up Liver and high inflammation throughout the body.

YIKES.

I knew it was bad, don’t get me wrong. You don’t create a blog called intuitively healing (kinda having that knowing that things have gone wacky in the body and following gut instincts to finally get things checked) without having anything wrong with you…. but THIS…this is bad. The doctor said we will try to bring my vitamin levels up over the Summer as that should help with my thyroid numbers. As it is right now I do not need thyroid medication (yet) So that was a relief to hear after the first diagnosis.

But now is not the time to dwell on the diagnosis or that word “diabetes”. End the dramatics, Jocelyn. It’s now time to put in the work. No more studying, researching, looking at different food plans or dreaming about future results or what could be if I really put in the time and effort. It’s time to just go balls to the wall and get shit done.

From here on out I will be following several plant based protocols (mixing and matching the ones that feel good ) for… at the bare minimum….July, August and September, when I will then get all levels re-tested by blood.

A few of the “protocols” (hate that word lol) books, and/or doctors I have been following and learning from include but not limited too;

Anthony Williams “The Medical Medium” who has a long list of amazing books including Liver Rescue and Life changing foods – he promotes a low fat, plant based lifestyle for restoring health.

Eat to Live by Dr Joel Fuhrman – who promotes a whole foods, plant based “nutrarian” lifestyle.

And

The Starch Solution by Dr John Mcdougall who promotes a plant based, whole foods lifestyle where your meals are built around starchy (but still whole food, plant based) foods.

These are my top three. They all have their own slight ways to tackle disease, diabetes and obesity but the commonalty is still there; following a low in fat, plant based, whole foods, lifestyle.

Food+Stress+Lifestyle choices got me into this mess and it will be those very things that get me OUT of this mess. I will NOT be following the traditional low carb high fat plan as I have tried that in the past and it just did NOT work for me. All signs are pointing to PLANTS for optimal healing.

I will be sharing lots of updates along the way. Thanks for joining me on this crazy journey we call life.

Knowledge is Power

Yesterday evening I had my first appointment with a local naturopath who is also licensed to prescribe bio identical hormones and NDT (natural desiccated thyroid) I had waited almost 1.5 months to see her so I was very excited despite my world being turned upside down these past few weeks (my grandpa passed away, visitation, funeral, family time etc) 

I’m not sure how many of you know this but when I was around 11-12 I was diagnosed hypothyroid and as the years carried on I had other things loaded onto my plate affecting my health including wonky hormones, skin rashes, tummy troubles and digestive issues. Regular mainstream doctors did little to dive into my areas of concern masking the symptoms with synthetic thyroid hormone pills, antibiotics, steroid creams and birth control pills. It destroyed my healthy gut levels, wreaked havoc on my healthy bacteria levels and despite different diets and pathways I took, my hormones and thyroid levels remained imbalanced. Of course…the years of hell/binge eating I put on my body also affected all of these things.

I grew very mistrusting of the medical world, specifically main stream – old school doctors and started visiting them less and less. I stopped taking synthroid (convential man made thyroid hormone) as it made me feel like crap and made my hair fall out in clumps (it didn’t help with my levels either). I came off the birth control pill as well once I turned 18. It might not have been the best choice but this is the choice I made back then for myself – to deal with these issues on my own. I felt very let down and neglected by the medical world. The binge eating got worse after age 18 until my late 20s. I wouldn’t get a handle on that until just before meeting my husband, Brent.

Fast forward almost 14 years and one massive spiritual awakening later… where I have been counselled and guided by several amazing medical intuitives who have gently guided me to getting these tests done. They made me realize that I have come to a point in my life where I need to know what is going on beyond the surface of this body. That if I don’t take care of myself things can go into a downward spiral pretty fast.

I’d like to know what is still affecting me so that I can effectively deal with it and continue deeply healing my body on a physical level. You can make all the diet, exercise and lifestyle changes but ultimately you must know what is happening beyond the surface to make further change happen. I also have to get to the root cause of my issues so that I can keep my yeast/candida issues at bay as well. 

I was very proud of myself for committing and following through to my appointment last night. Avoidance is not something in my vocabulary any longer. 

The appointment lasted 1.5 hours and she only charged me for the hour that I had committed to prior. She read over the new patient package I had filled out (everything from morning temperatures, a week of my typical diet, medical history, current medical issues, symptoms, emotional stuff etc). She also felt that stress, trauma and binge eating throughout my childhood and teens definitely could have been a trigger for some of these issues which I have always thought as well.

She did some muscle testing and pressure points on certain areas of the body. She came to the conclusion that my gall bladder is likely pretty stressed which makes HUGE sense and connects to the stomach pain and diarrhea I have been having the past few months after higher fat foods. Oddly enough, I just never made the connection  between those symptoms and my gall bladder. When she pressed on that area it was also pretty tender. She gave me a homeopathic Gall Bladder tonic, Stress B vitamins for inflammation, tanked adrenals and a liquid magnesium which is easier absorbed into the body than capsule form. If the homeopathy doesn’t seem to cut it I will be getting an ultrasound done on my gall bladder. 

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I will also have a lot of blood taken from me in the next 2-3 weeks. I am having two different blood tests done – One is for a thyroid panel and certain vitamins and the other is to check/confirm for PCOS (androgen hormones). Pcos had always been a term thrown at me in my teens by doctors but again – they just masked it with the BC pill and it didn’t help. I have just learned to deal with the symptoms in my day to day life (extra body and facial hair, weight gain, insulin resistance and more) 

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My point is this….don’t be like me and go so many years SUSPECTING…but not fully knowing. TEST don’t guess…then proceed accordingly. Knowledge is power when it comes to healing! My next appointment will be in around a months time and we will go over the results. Wish me luck! 

Edited to add: I wouldn’t have to wait a month to find out the results of these blood tests….read the next blog post to find out why!