Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nutrition Goals

I am proud of the progress I have made in improving my nutrition.  Although my saturated fat and cholesterol intake are still on the high side, I have lowered them significantly, and perhaps more importantly, I have improved my saturated fat/polyunsaturated fat ratio.  I have also significantly lowered my sodium intake although it is still high.  Quite honestly, on the type of low carb diet I am eating, I am not sure if I can do any better in these areas that I have already done so I am just going to continue with my present program to keep the levels where they are.

My next concern is potassium.  I consistently only get about half the recommended daily allowance.  This is especially bad since I routinely get twice as much sodium as I should.  Potassium blunts sodium's ability to raise your blood pressure.  The problem is that even though most plant based foods (including coffee) include potassium, and salmon which I typically eat once a week, you need to eat a lot of plant based food to add up to enough.  Bananas are known for being high in potassium, but it would take 10 a day to reach my recommended allowance.  A vegetarian would be able to do this more easily.

I have been spending some time today researching good sources of potassium and thinking about solutions to this problem.  I don't think that we should take a supplement.  We are trying to limit supplements in favor of food.  This is timely research also because as we lose weight, we are finding that we have to cut out calories back more, and the easiest way to do that is to substitute veggies (and to a lesser extent fruit) for some of the meat and dairy products that we have been eating.  I want to target those veggies and fruits to be ones that are high in potassium.

Here are the things that I intend to add in greater quantities to our diet - low-sodium V-8 juice,  avocados, brussel sprouts (we already eat a lot of these), and spinach.  I also want to look into the possibility of eating Greek style yogurt which is high in potassium.  It has fewer carbs than other yogurts, and I may like it with the frozen berries that we have been eating off and on this winter.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Books

A while back, I wrote about books that had a big influence on my life.  There was one that I couldn't remember the exact title of or find anywhere online at that point (although my memories of it were vivid!)  I have since found it and wanted to mention it here.

The book was called Single Again, and it was by Mildred Hope Witkin.  In the crowd of books directed at people who have divorced or become widowed or separated from a longterm relationship, it really stood out!  The book was written with the intended audience of women over 50 who had divorced or become widowed, but I think this book would be excellent for anyone who is at a place in their life where they are feeling a little lost or not quite sure where to go, or anyone who finds themselves on a road that was not the one they originally planned on being on.  The book is about forgetting about your original life plan and your long held dreams, and finding out who you really are and what you really want.  It is about not giving up when things aren't going exactly where you want to go.

Although I was not over 50, and I still had young children at home, I was able to use the exercises in this book to my benefit.  In many ways, I still use the activities and lessons that it taught me in both my day to day life and my plans for the future.  If you're looking for a reason to keep on living, check this one out regardless of your situation.  I do not think that you will be disappointed!

I never posted this on the first due to poison ivy so here it is now!

Here it is the first day of a new month, and I am always so excited to look at my progress. Our goals for this month were:


Me - to weigh under 280 and to keep my fasting bg under 100
Diana - to weigh under 214 and to get her bg under 120

How did we do? Well, I weighed in at 277, three pounds under goal. My fasting blood glucose this morning was 104 though! I was a little upset. I went back over my nutrition profile. Last month, I averaged 117 grams of carbs a day, and this month, I averaged 118 grams of carbs a day. That is not a significant difference. A lot of things could account for the higher blood glucose reading. It could be a normal variation (although normal variations tend to be limited to a 5 mg difference, and mine is up 6 mg from 98 last month). It could be the stress of having a cold. (I don't have enough experience tracking my blood glucose to know if this is a factor with me.) It could be that last month's reading was an anomaly, and I am still running in the pre-diabetic range.

My action plan is to keep losing weight, and as an extra precaution, spend a day tracking my blood glucose to check for abnormal highs. If I have other abnormal highs, I may decide to be more careful with my diet.  (Edit: I did spend a day tracking, and my numbers were all within the normal non-diabetic range so I am not worried.  I may have my A1C tested at some point in the future for more data though.)

Diana weighed in this morning at 213. Way to go Diana! I was especially proud of her reaching this goal this month because she has really been struggling with sticking to her calorie goals and correspondingly losing weight this month. In the end, she stuck with it and came through! Diana's blood glucose we 123. Not quite reaching the goal I wrote, but I still think that it is really, really good! She has finally entered the pre-diabetic range. I don't plan on changing anything in Diana's program. I believe that with continued weight loss she will continue to reduce her bg levels until she sees normal. Next month, she will have her A1C tested to see how her overall blood glucose is improving.

Now for this month's goals!

Me - to weigh under 271 and to get my fasting bg back under 100
Diana - to weigh under 208 and to get her fasting bg under 120

Random data for my records:

This month - calories 2018, carb 117

concerns - saturated fat 169, cholesterol 146, sodium 230, potassium 49, fiber 59, iron 84, magnesium 90

Last month - calories 1917, carb 118

concerns - saturated fat 180 (yay is down), polyunsaturated fat 78 (yay is up to target), cholesterol 155 (yay is down), sodium 279 (yay is down), potassium 53 (boo is down), fiber 65 (boo is down), iron 78 (yay is up), magnesium was fine this month (I know why it is down and how to fix it)

(Edit: I will be writing about some of my extended nutrition goals here soon!)