Friday, June 10, 2016

Life without dairy

So, remember last month when I finished up my Whole 30 and blogged about how great I felt the entire time? 

Well, you also might recall my exciting find that my swelling issues were food related! I was convinced it was the whole grains - specifically the wheat - that I had eliminated.  I was so convinced that the first food I re-introduced was dairy. Simply to rule out my favorite food group and move on.

Well, I was completely wrong and found out fast.

Within a few days it was all whoa-nelly. It looked like someone was inflating one of those balloons they make animals out of at the fair in my legs. 

So, I dialed it back for 2 weeks....ankles and legs went back to 'normal'...added it back in...there they go again...

Dairy, you guys! Dairy!
I love dairy. But I love my body more. So I begin my quest towards a dairy-free diet. And it's not as easy as I thought.  I mean, dairy is everywhere!

All my favorites -- yogurt, cheese (cottage, cream, cheddar - all the cheeses!), taziki sauce, keifer, ice cream, whey  [OK so I don't eat it very often but ICE CREAM IS NOW A NO-NO!]

"So what?" you might think...but it's a little more complicated. Because it means no more pizza, omelets, parfaits, smoothies.......(luckily I found a dairy-free option I like). They are all out of bounds, plus more, even less obvious items (like pop chips...yup, whey powder there).

But, actually, it's not that bad either....
The good news is that because it's a common allergy and the FDA requires manufacturers to include allergen information on food labels it's easy to spot.

A whole piece of fruit or a veggie is probably the better choice for a morning snack than yogurt. Plus my old standby LARA bars do not contain dairy (whew!)

...and I'm thankful for it.
Lots of people deal with lots of allergies - of the "eat now, stop breathing" variety. While I might not love the aesthetics of the swollen extremities, it could have been worse. If I slip now and then it is most certainly NOT a life-threatening mistake.

Yes, my edema causes stiffness at times. It's certainly unattractive. But I found the cause, and it's as simple as eliminating something from my diet.

I don't have congestive heart failure, kidney disease or an inadequate lymphatic system. Those are the most common diseases associated with edema. 

So I choose to be thankful and healthy and wear lots and lots of skirts this summer.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Why working out in the morning sucks when you're a morning person......

One day last week I woke up at 4:45 a.m.  Not unusual, but this particular morning I beat the alarm. Not only that, but I had no where to class to teach, no early morning meetings - I had 2 glorious hours until I had to leave the house.

So I opened the blinds, grabbed a coffee and a wrapped up a fantastic book I was approaching the end of. I mean, I relaxed back on my boyfriend pillow and soaked in the rest of Robert Bailey's Between Black & White like it was a yummy breakfast. SO GOOD.

I am at my best at 5:30 in the morning - awake, alert, ready to go. You would think that would make morning exercise a no-brainer...but I struggle with it daily.  Because it's the best part of my day...I want to meditate, enjoy a cup of coffee and have breakfast with Michael before I have to be an adult.

For 5 long years my schedule was perfection. I went to a boot camp 3 days a week from 5:00- 6:00 a.m., was home by 6:30, showered and enjoying a cup of coffee on the screened in porch by 7 and left for work at 8:00.  2 days a week I'd run on my lunch break. Weekends I usually did a long run, but fit it in where I could.

But for the past year I've struggled. My new hours are 7:00 - 3:30; I'm sluggish and tired in the afternoon. Going to the gym for a 5:40 a.m. class leaves me rushing through a shower in the locker room to get to work on time. A class starting at 4:30 p.m. takes me 15 minutes to get in the how do I deal?

Instead of dwelling on better times, I've made a deal with myself. 2 days a week I get up at 4, drag myself to the gym and suck up the rushed shower and prep time. And let's be honest, since my outfit is picked out already I save about 10-15 minutes - there's no option to second guess or change. The other 2 days I go to the gym in the afternoon. Lunchtime workouts are no more, but I'm working on getting better. That means I get 3 mornings a week to ease into my day, sleep in a little (like I did this morning) or just watch a little Mike & Mike.

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