Saturday, May 25, 2013

Days 7 to 10 of the drinking water rather than soft drinks experiment

May 21 to 24, 2013 (Tuesday through Friday)

It is getting easier and more enjoyable to drink water with my meals and snacks and sips throughout the day.

The other night, I had that Chia Seed, lemon juice, and water mixture and got acid reflux that lasted well into the next day. That confirmed for me even more the advisability to mostly make my drink pure water.

I started also drinking milk with some of my meals. That also was enjoyable as long as I add ice cubes to make it truly icy cold.

I don't think I am eating as much as I used to as the water does not precipitate any sugar cravings like soft drinks did. That is a good thing.

If I do drink soft drinks occasionally, I am going to make certain that they do not have caffeine. So, the experiment is succeeding very well. I am so pleased!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Days 4 to 6 of the drinking water rather than soft drinks experiment

May 18, 19, and 20, 2013 (Saturday through Monday)

On Saturday, I was still battling some vestiges of withdrawal from caffeine and some sleepiness. I went to bed way earlier than normal for me. Normal, by the way, is between 2 to 4 am, as I am a bit of an insomniac. I was asleep by around 1:30 am. I enjoyed very much the clean feeling in my stomach as I drank water all day.

By Sunday, I appeared to be over the withdrawal symptoms. I still had to go to bed earlier than my previous norm. But otherwise, drinking water became easier and easier.

On Monday, I awakened longing for a drink with a little more cutting edge to it like lemonade. We did not have lemonade in the house, plus, that is a strong sugar-based drink. My compromise, which worked out beautifully, was to make my Chia Seed, lemon juice, ice cubes, and water concoction. To me, it tastes similar to Fresca and it is way healthier. I really enjoyed consuming this as I ate my bowl of cereal. The rest of the day, drinking pure water felt natural and just what I wanted. I am very pleased that my food tastes better and my appetite has decreased somewhat.

By the way, Chia Seeds have lots of fiber. The drink is something that I will probably repeat often. In a large glass, I mix 2 tablespoons of Chia Seeds, a bunch of ice cubes, 15 squirts of lemon juice, and about 24 ounces of water. It makes a thickened drink that is similar to a slushy drink. Since the seeds tend to settle, I give the mixture a good stir prior to taking a drink. I ended up drinking every drop. Yum!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Days 2 to 3 of the drinking water rather than soft drinks experiment

May 16 to 17, 2013

This blog is documenting days 2 and 3 of my drinking water versus soft drinks experiment. Mostly, it is my effort to kick the caffeine addiction habit.

Through the years, I have attempted to kick the caffeine habit. Once, I managed it for two whole years. Then, when life got stressful, I returned to drinking caffeine like an alcoholic feels the need to return to drinking alcohol.

I kept up drinking Diet Coke for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack for a few years. Then, when I went through breast cancer in 2010, I stopped for two reasons. One, it was suggested that Diet Coke might possibly be a contributor to breast cancer. The second reason was that when I went through Chemo, my taste buds made a drastic change. Diet Coke tasted absolutely horrid. So, from that time period to this, I have not felt tempted to drink Diet Coke. Twice, I took a sip of my husband's Diet Coke to see if I might like it again. Nope! I couldn't stand it. That is funny because for several years, I absolutely adored the flavor.

During my chemo sessions between February and July of 2010, the only drink I could fully taste, other than water, was lemonade. So, there came a time after I recovered from breast cancer when I decided to return to drinking caffeinated drinks. My drink of choice, a rather natural transition from lemonade, was Diet Mt. Dew. I also enjoyed regular Mt. Dew. I didn't much taste a difference between the two. I preferred the diet as I am such a drink guzzler that I wanted to limit my drink calories.

So, that is the background information. By the way, alcohol has never been a temptation for me. I don't like the taste or smell of any of them. Plus, drinking alcohol gives me the side effect like I have a horrible case of menstrual cramps and heavy legs. Therefore, more from this factor rather than scruples, I do not drink alcoholic drinks. Plus, I don't like the idea of chemicals messing with my health or brain matter. My only 'drug of choice' has ever been caffeine and sugar. I am not a smoker, as well.

So, back to Day 2. I noticed that on the second day of not drinking caffeine, I was sleepier and battling a headache. I was drinking a lot of Dasani purified water. That is my favorite brand of bottled water to drink. My sugar cravings for lessening, as well.

On Day 3, I tried Aquafina bottled water which does not taste nearly as good to me as Dasani. My husband had bought me a 12-pack of both brands. So, I added some lemon juice to the Aquafina to make it a bit tastier. That helped some; however, I had the feeling my body would have enjoyed it better minus the lemon juice.

That night, my husband and I tried out a new, to us, restaurant, called 'The Farmer's Daughter'. It is on Erwin Highway between Greeneville and Jonesborough in Tennessee. You pay $12.95 per person. With tax, it adds up to $15 even. It is a family-style restaurant. It is all you can eat to a point. Your table gets the choice of two meats. Then you are served ten vegetables. You also get your drink and one dessert included. They did not have lemonade. I don't enjoy tea or coffee. So, my options were water or Sierra Mist. I chose Sierra Mist. I like it okay, but I am not a great lover of Sprite, Sierra Mist, or 7-Up. I do love Ginger Ale, however. The food was pretty good. It was really fun to try all these new flavors. But I noticed that I experienced a strong case of Cotton Mouth that evening. It could be because I drank a soft drink rather than water. It could be that their food was extra salty because even my husband had a bit of that dry-mouth condition. Or it could have been a combination of the two. So, should we go back, I will elect to only drink ice water.

So, to help alleviate that, I ate a bunch of green grapes and drank water after returning home.

As for the food, here is what we experienced at 'The Farmer's Daughter Restaurant':

Meats: Steak-n-Gravy (pretty good) and Friend Chicken (we both found it quite bland and boring)

When the manager learned it was our first visit, he gave us a plate of Barbecued Pork Ribs at no extra charge. They were very tasty but really on the sweet side.

There was a Grilled Haddock option. We were both wishing we had tried that. If we go back, we will probably order the ribs again plus Grilled Haddock.

Vegetables: Mashed Potatoes (good), Carrot Souffle (like a dessert and very tasty), Soup Beans (my husband didn't much care for them and he loves that kind of thing - I don't eat them), Steamed Cabbage (very flavorful), Cornbread Salad (pretty good), Potato Salad (good), Cucumbers with some kind of tasty dressing (good), Fried Green Tomatoes (really good), Macaroni and White Cheese (good), Broccoli with cheese (delicious), and Strawberries and Cream (yummy). They also served gravy that was didn't need.

You get Corn Bread and rolls. They were both tasty.

For dessert, I tried the Butterscotch Pie served with whipped cream. It was really good. My husband had the Banana Pudding. He liked the fact that it had big chunks of banana. He did not like the fact that it lacked Vanilla Wafers. He likes an even amount of both. His was served with whipped cream, as well. We turned down the Chocolate Cream Pie and Hot Fudge Cake. We might try them a future time.

You can check out the website to see what other food options they have. They also serve breakfast. By the way, they are only open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Day 1 of the drinking water rather than soft drinks experiment

May 15, 2013

Today marks day one of my experiment to drink water rather than drinking soft drinks. Up to this day, I was drinking multiple Diet Mt. Dew cans each and every day. I was addicted to the caffeine and the Aspartame. Aware that, as a breast cancer survivor, I might have been playing with fire, so to speak, I am beginning this experiment.

I've noticed that when I drink soft drinks, I am able to eat more and I have greater sugar cravings. Today, when I ate breakfast, I was not able to eat nearly as much when I only had ice water to drink. I enjoyed the water and did not seem to miss the soft drink.

As the day progressed, I did find that I was battling a bit of sleepiness. I also had a very small headache since I was going through some caffeine withdrawal.

I enjoyed my dinner very much. I seemed to be able to taste more flavors in the food with water as an accompaniment. The big drawback was when I had to make the 45-minute drive from Kingsport to my home in Mosheim, it was all I could do to stay awake. I had to run the air conditioner full blast, sit up straight, and try to distract myself from visions of taking a nap by listening to upbeat songs on the radio.

I did have to take a power nap upon returning home. I did a lot of yawning after awakening. I feel fine currently.

My husband is not thrilled that I am trying this experiment as he fears I will fall asleep when we watch our late night television shows. Nevertheless, I feel the need to improve the way I am eating and drinking. Losing weight would be a perk of this experiment. Staying hydrated and healthy would be another perk of this experiment. We will see how long I can maintain this process.

Monday, February 6, 2012

'Your Last Diet': table of contents of my weight loss articles

I've lost 15 1/2 (fifteen and a half) pounds so far using 'Your Last Diet' by Kathleen DesMaisons. Here are the article links giving the details. 

Please note: Check back as I will continue adding article links to this particular blog page every few days.


1.  ‘Your Last Diet’: Working Step 1 : Do you consider yourself to be overweight? Have you tried all kinds of diets only to have them all eventually fail? That is certainly the case with me. Join me as I work step one of ‘Your Last Diet’ created by Kathleen DesMaisons.

2.  ‘Your Last Diet’: Step 1’s Breakfast Adventure Part 1 : In my efforts to work step one of ‘Your Last Diet’ developed by Kathleen DesMaisons, I began experimenting with several recipes in my effort to create the most ideal sugar-free breakfast cookie filled with protein and carbohydrates. Read what happened.

3.  ‘Your Last Diet’: Step 1’s Breakfast Adventure Part 2 : In my efforts to work step one of ‘Your Last Diet’ developed by Kathleen DesMaisons, so far, I’ve found 3 nourishing breakfast combos that work for me. Read about liquid protein and steel cut oats.

4.  ‘Your Last Diet’: Step 1 plus Breast Reconstruction Surgery: The timing couldn’t be better. Protein is needed for Step 1 and to help my skin heal after Breast Reconstruction surgery using tummy fat. I’ve lost 10 lbs.


5.  ‘Your Last Diet’: Starting Step 2 plus why I am overweight: As I continue polishing Step 1 of ‘Your Last Diet’ by Kathleen DesMaisons, I’m ready to start Step 2. Read all about it and why I am overweight.

6.  ‘Your Last Diet’: Continuing Step 2 plus a focus on ‘Sugar Sensitives’: I am currently working Steps 1 and 2 of ‘Your Last Diet’ by Kathleen DesMaisons. My current focus is to explore whether or not I am sensitive to sugar.  

7.  ‘Your Last Diet’: Step 2 plus starting to exerciseIn addition to working on Step 2 of ‘My Last Diet’ by Kathleen DesMaisons, I’m beginning to exercise as well. I’ve lost 15 pounds.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

Random thoughts about my food issues and Chapter 1 of 'Potatoes not Prozac'

As of January 6, 2010, I am now reading Chapter 1 of Kathleen DesMaisons' book called "Potatoes not Prozac."

Potatoes not Prozac by Kathleen DesMaisons (2nd edition, copyright 2008)

I bought my copy from Amazon. I  have included the link above.

I processed the Introduction and am eager to hear how she explains Chapter 1 which is entitled "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."

Interesting Tidbit #1: I Googled Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as I could not quite recall the original author. It was Robert Louis Stevenson. He wrote it in 1886. Dr. Jekyll is the "nice" character. He occasionally transforms into the "bad guy" character of Mr. Hyde. I certainly have served my time of transforming into [Mrs.] Hyde in my 53 1/2 years of life. I am all too human in that respect. How about you?

Memory Recall #1: On page 7, the author talks about "You lose energy and get tired. You crave sugar and turn to sweets and snack foods to get yourself going again."

Man! I cannot count the times that I have done that. I snack when I drive on long trips to keep myself awake. I have snacks set up by my computer when I'm writing to keep myself going. When my husband wants to watch our shows late at night and I find myself drifting off to sleep, I use snacks to wake myself up.

I think I should describe our rather strange schedule. My husband is a sports writer covering the Vols. He mostly works at home except when he has to drive to UT Knoxville to cover a home football or basketball game, go to a press conference, interview a coach or player, etc. Otherwise, he spends hours everyday writing sports articles for Inside and for their sports magazine called "Rocky Top News." To see more, here is their website link: My husband is Randy Moore. He is the editor-in-chief and a senior sports writer for this site.

On typical days when I do not have a storytelling gig, we both get up around 10 a.m. We each retire to our respective offices. He writes, writes, writes all day long, rarely taking a break. He may or may not eat lunch. He will have a couple of cookies or so for his breakfast and a caffeinated drink. Around 5:30 to 6:30, he goes to the nursing home to feed his invalid mother her dinner. She has Parkinson's and other disorders that prevent her from being able to take care of any of her personal needs. Randy is a very loyal and wonderful husband to me and son to his mother. He gets home around 8:30 to 9:00 and continues writing. Sometimes, he will take time to eat his dinner when he gets home. More often than not, he will eat his dinner around 10:00 to 11:00 to even 12:00 when he is done writing for the night. I vary my eating schedule. Sometimes, I go ahead and eat dinner while he is gone and leave him a plate to warm up. Sometimes, I'll eat as late as 10 pm.  

We then watch our pre-recorded favorite shows until 1:30 to 2:00 am. We sometimes watch as late as 3:00 a.m. Sometime during that time period, I take a power nap on the couch. We will both snack during this time. He goes to bed first. I usually stay up longer. When I finally get to bed, it often takes me a long time to turn off my brain enough to go to sleep. Then I sleep for 5 to 6 hours or so. He usually gets his 8 hours.

So, my eating habits definitely have many needs-improvement opportunities built in to our rather odd schedule.

Question to Explore #1: The author mentions a number of factors that she attributes to the possibility of being sugar sensitive. Some of these seem to apply to me and some don't. I will list them below. 

These apply to me:

  • I crave sugar and/or snacks to get myself awake and alert enough to work, stay awake driving, stay awake watching TV with my husband, etc.
  • I do sometimes eat compulsively.
  • I sometimes appear to lack self-discipline when it comes to my food intake: quantity plus nutritive quality.

These do NOT appear to apply to me:

  • I have been moody in the past; however, I am usually a glass half-filled kind of a girl. I don't often suffer from depression and haven't in a long time.
  • As to being overwhelmed, I do not always balance my do list, but I'm not really what you would call overwhelmed.
  • I feel no need for being on an anti-depressant.

Then my question is: How many of those have to apply before I should or could describe myself as being sugar sensitive? 

The author, Kathleen DesMaisons, states on page 8 that "Your body chemistry may respond to sugars and certain carbohydrates (such as bread, crackers, cereal, and pasta) differently than other people's bodies do." She mentions that this could effect mood and behavior. She also states that "How you feel is physiologically linked to what you eat - and when you eat it."

I am hoping to figure out whether that status applies to me.

By the way, I have never been addicted to alcohol or drugs or nicotine. I am a non-drinker, a non-drugger, and a non-smoker. My only real chemical vice was Diet Coke. Prior to getting breast cancer and going through chemo, I drank Diet Coke for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and during snacks. I now cannot stand Diet Coke or any kind of cola due to chemo. I have not had a caffeinated soft drink since October 26th. I don't miss it. I have only had a non-caffeinated soft drink like Ginger Ale or Sierra Mist a couple of times since that date. I mostly drink water and do not miss the soft drinks at all. I also enjoy juice, lemonade, and Cappuccinos made with 1% milk.

My other chemical vice is sugar. 

I will have to read further to discover if I am sugar sensitive and whether my body reacts differently to sugar than the norm. So far, I am thinking this book may not fully apply to me or only apply to me a little bit. Stay tuned.

The reason why I think perhaps this may not apply fully to me is that I am rarely moody, I mostly am not irritable, I have a pretty good self-esteem, and I am more hopeful than hopeless. I also am optimistic about the future.

I would like to lose weight in a permanent safe kind of a way. I want to do it as a life-style change that I can live with. I am definitely overweight; however, I mostly embrace my being Rubenesque, as i like to call it. My husband loves my curves and makes me feel beautiful. So I am not feeling desperate. Instead, I am curious to see if there are practical measures I can take to be less dependent on sugar. That is part of what I am hoping to learn from this book.

I am, as mentioned on page 10, often guilty of "self-medicating with sugars and simple carbohydrates." So, I feel certain that there is quite a bit I can learn from this book even if I am not fully sugar sensitive.

Interesting Tidbit #2: I am grateful to state that other than a step-grandfather, no one in my family is really a drinker and those few who do enjoy the occasional drink are definitely not alcoholics. So that disease has never touched me. That seems to be the partial focus of this book so far.

So far, my two addictions that I know of:
1. Caffeine (not true as of around January to February of 2010)
2. Sugar (still true today)

What intrigues me is that the author, on page 14, seems to be implying that her food issues did not really have "its roots in emotional wounding." If that is the case, it makes me wonder. I have always thought a lot of my food issues has to do with my past history. What if that is not the case after all? Hmmmmm!

However, as I continue to read her back story, on page 16, maybe I am misunderstanding what she identifies as the root cause. Maybe it does have to do with our reaction to our past history after all. Obviously, I need to keep reading.

To be continued ...

Some random thoughts about my food issues and the Introduction to 'Potatoes not Prozac'

As of January 6, 2010, I have just started reading Kathleen DesMaisons' book called "Potatoes not Prozac."

Potatoes not Prozac by Kathleen DesMaisons (2nd edition, copyright 2008)

I bought my copy from Amazon. I  have included the link above.

As I read the book, I can imagine that it will inspire memories and connections between what she writes and what I have experienced. I think best when I write out my thoughts, so I will include some of those thoughts in this blog. Follow along if you so choose.

The thrust of her book is to beat out sugar addiction. In fact, the front cover of the book says, "A Natural Seven-Step Program to (1) Balance your sugar sensitivity and come alive! and (2) Lose weight, heal depression, and and stop cravings."

Given that I am soon to have my bilateral breast reconstruction surgery (I am a breast cancer survivor and thriver) that will utilize my tummy fat to form my breasts, I would like to start focusing on losing weight in the rest of my body in a life-style change kind of a way. I plan to see if this book will prove to be helpful.

Memory #1: My parents would often state, "No dessert until you  finish your dinner." I think many parents have found themselves making the same statement. This makes me question the fact that the whole value system is built around if you will eat this boring stuff, you can have something sugary as a reward. It occurs to me, for the first time ever, that parents actually teach us to place great value with eating something that contains sugar.

The currency is the sugary dessert.

The parent basically is stating, "I will pay you to eat this boring dinner with something sugary and wonderful." Therefore, we children are taught that a sugary dessert is worth great riches. Interesting!

I had never thought about it that way before. Hmmmmmm! It makes you think, doesn't it?!!

Interesting Tidbit #1: It intrigues me when the author states,
"Sugar addiction is caused by a chemical imbalance, not a character defect."

That is indeed comforting, if it is true, that the fact that I have a love affair with sugar is not due to me not being as good or as disciplined of a person as I can be. Instead, it could be attributed to that perhaps I am harboring a long-standing chemical imbalance in my body. This will be very interesting to learn more about how to monitor and possibly fix this.

Questions to Explore: On page 5, the author talks a lot about that children who are born "sugar sensitive" behave the way they do due to that factor more than any other factor. This makes me wonder:

  1. How do you figure out if you were born sensitive to sugar?
  2. When I decided in late elementary school that people only liked you if you were happy and laughing and smiling; and thus, I put on a shield that I perfected by the ninth grade, could any of that behavior been influenced by being sugar sensitive, if that is what I am?
  3. For the author states on page 5, "What you thought was your personality is not who you are at all. It was a result of your sugar-sensitive biochemistry, your imbalance, and your old way of eating." How can I figure out whether this statement applies to me? 
  4. The author claims, on page 6, that "You do not have to master your blood sugar and your serotonin and your beta-endorphin, you just 'do the food'." So how do I 'do the food' as she states?

I will be reading and digesting this book, pun partially intended, with great interest.