Sunday, January 31, 2010

Get Fit Chicks! Good Bye Crazy Diet

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

Today is the last day of the four week crazy diet. I’m not sure how well it worked…some crazy things have been going in our lives – work stress, sick toddler, other not-so-fun-stuff – that have resulted in not as much sleeps as I need, so I’m not sure if the fatigue I’m feeling now is really fatigue or just life related.

The diet was okay – I found this time that I really didn’t enjoy being restricted in terms of fruit and there are only so many bananas, apples and pears one can eat…I had an orange this morning and I’m looking forward to the complete and total reentry of citrus into my diet tomorrow. I had more than one “cheat” day – if you can call them that – sometimes I just plain forgot I was not supposed to have whatever until after I ate it and sometime I made the decision to take a break for one meal, usually because it was a special occasion.

I have determined though, that I’m much better at following these types of things if I have someone to check in with. The reason this diet worked so well the last time was because I had to go back every few weeks and see what kind of progress I was making.

And the big question – this was not a weight loss diet – but did I lose weight? I think I lost three pounds over the four weeks, which isn’t horrible, but I’d like to be closer to 1.5-2 pounds per week.

And our lives have changed

...just a little bit.

After Alex's accident, I've noticed that we're doing things differently. Just like when I hurt my back, we've both slowed down a bit and we're trying to enjoy life together. I've been out in the car a lot more this week than usual and I've become more cautious and acutely aware of pedestrians and other vehicle. We're both more aware when we're walking and Alex has even started taking a different route to work.

What gets me though is the large number of stupid pedestrians out there*. The ones who don't look, just cross the street because
  • they are pedestrians and they have the right of way so the cars have to stop, no matter what, no matter where they are (a corner, the middle of a block wherever!)
  • they're too busy texting to notice the light is red or a car is coming
  • they're plugged into their MP3 players which are so loud, not only can I hear their music very clearly ten feet away, but they can't hear sirens or horns or anything else going on around them
  • they're off in the own little world and they are so far immersed they could be walking down the seawall or right down the middle of the street and they wouldn't notice a difference
It's scary. Car vs human statistics tend to favour the cars...big time...

*There are also stupid drivers out there, but they need their own post...maybe one day I'll get to them!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Domperidone, hormones and fun stuff like that

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

So I was talking to Stacey and after our conversation, I figured it was time to address the ever so complicated issue of hormones.

After J was born, I lost weight steadily. And then my milk production almost stopped. There were all kinds of reasons for it, but the result was that I was put on domperidone to stimulate lactation. Domperidone might sound like fancy champagne, but it’s not.

Domperidone is prescribed off label in Canada for lactation and because of this, the side effects are either not known or not disclosed by pharmacists. My pharmacist had never dispensed domperidone for lactation so she was quite interested in how well it worked and whatever else happened to me.

So I had no idea that I was going to get increasingly frustrated as the weeks went by. I was on domperidone for about six months. In that time, I think I lost maybe two pounds. And nothing else in my life had changed. I was still watching what I ate and if anything, my physical activity increased. I was frustrated because of the plateau, especially because the weight loss had been good and steady before. My doctor (my GP, not the doctor at the breastfeeding clinic) couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t losing weight. It was not fun.

And then the time came to stop taking domperidone. And I lost eight pounds the first week. And then we were out with some friends and somehow we got talking about domperidone. And R had been on it as well and she asked how my weight was…turns out the problem was probably the drug, not anything I was or wasn’t doing. After that I talked to a few more friends at my mom and baby group and they had the same thing – either a plateau OR weight gain.

Once I stopped taking domperidone, I still had to contend with my hormones being out of whack…After a bunch of blood tests, an ultrasound and countless birth control pill adjustments, I feel like maybe they’re finally calmed down and sorted out and maybe now the weight will start to come off steadily again…we’ll see…those hormones, they certainly make a difference in whether or not the weight comes, goes or just stays put.

Eternally thankful

Alex has a guardian angel.

I'm sure of it.

Last night, just a few minutes after Alex left for work, our phone rang. It was Alex. Asking me to come get him and take him to work because he'd been hit by a car four blocks from our house.

My sister was over, so I left J with her and went down to talk Alex out of going to work. He had just been hit by a car after all...

As I left our garage I heard a whole bunch of sirens and the sick-to-my-stomach feeling I'd had for the last three minutes got worse. I got to where the accident happened and there was an ambulance and a fire truck parked on the side street. I pulled up the street to park and saw a paramedic walking Alex towards the ambulance. Thank goodness because when I got out of the car I saw the damage to the car that hit him and if I'd seen that first, I probably would have thought he was dead even though I'd just talked to him.

It turns out he saw the car at the last minute and manage to get out of the way a little bit - maybe by jumping. Alex was determined to go to work and I was determined to get him checked out...eventually we got to leave the scene, but first we were joined by the police. We got Alex to work where they had already started arranging for someone to cover his shift. So off we went to the doctor and then I got to bring Alex home.

I don't think I've ever been so scared in my life...and grateful to Alex's guardian angel. We were lucky last night...all I've been able to think about since is how our lives could have changed completely by that phone call and really, how we were so lucky because all that happened was we were a bit inconvenienced last night.

So...don't forget to let the people you love know that that you love ever you tell them, do it regularly. I'm going to try to never take a single moment of time with the people I love for granted ever again.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm going to *bleeeeeeeping* ruin your day

Is that right!

So, yesterday's post about umbrella etiquette was sparked by an incident on the way to dropping J off yesterday morning.

I was walking down the street, minding my own business. It was drizzling, but not a lot. If you were driving, you wouldn't even have your wipers on intermittent, it was that light.

A few blocks from J's daycare, I see a woman and her giant umbrella clobber another person in the face. This girl was clearly hurt and not about to say anything to the giant umbrella lady. I wasn't impressed, but hey, what do you do...right?

Then, as we continue down the street, I watch this lady barrel her way though the people under the awnings - some trying to get in or out of the shops, some waiting, some trying to stay dry without an umbrella or hat - and almost do the same thing to two more people.

That's when I surprised myself. I'm not usually someone who will speak out in public, but I found my legs marching down the street to catch up her. I did and I said excuse me, I wasn't sure if you knew your umbrella is quite wide and you just caught someone in the eye. I was calm and polite and the lady was like I DID NOT. WHY WOULD YOU ACCUSE ME OF SOMETHING LIKE THAT. I responded by saying I was sure it was an accident, I wasn't actually accusing her of anything, but I wanted to let her know so it didn't happen again...I can't remember exactly what I said, but I wasn't angry and I was trying very hard not to be accusatory because I was positive she had no idea what her umbrella was doing (hey, pay attention people)...The whole time the little voice in my head was going, hey, what are you doing? are you crazy? why are you doing this? just go back to being invisible!

Then it started...

I have not heard that kind of language come out of a person for a long time...I just kept walking and I heard her stop at a bus stop I just passed.

Then...well, I heard her behind me again...

And she had this to say to me:

"If you're going to bleeping ruin my bleeping day, then I'm bleeping going to make sure I bleeping ruin yours."

She continued along the same lines as I crossed the street...

I was stunned and I don't know that I'll ever call someone on their behaviour again, but strangely she didn't ruin my day. I wasn't impressed that J had to hear that kind of language, but the woman's reaction and rant made me realize that there must be some very unhappy things in her life right now and that my life is pretty good.

So, rather than ruining my day, in a strange way her little tirade almost made my day.

I just hope the girl with the eye is okay...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why I hate umbrellas

I am not a fan of umbrellas. That said, I know that people need to use them. I just prefer not to. But I do wish that people used some umbrella etiquette when they take their umbrellas out for a walk...

Just a few request from me...not that the umbrella culprits will read this or take notice if they do!
  • When you use your umbrella, big, large, lady bug, plain black, whatever, be aware of other people. You are wider than you normally are, so either lift your umbrella over those around you if you're walking past people OR collapse it OR give yourself more room.
  • When it is NOT raining, put your umbrella down, please.
  • Do not step out of the bus and open your umbrella into a crowd.
  • If you have one of those big long umbrellas and you are carrying it collapsed, please hold it beside or in front of you, don't swing it wildly - J almost got taken out by one of those in London.
  • Your folded up, long umbrella is not a sword. I don't care if you're 5 or 55, it's not a sword.
  • When you get on the bus, don't shake your umbrella violently over all the people already on the bus.
  • Don't pull the umbrella in front of your face and march down the street - you still need to watch where you're going...
  • If your umbrella is up, you don't need to walk under the building awnings. Please leave that space free for the poor people who don't have umbrellas/hoods and the people trying to enter and exit the shops and offices.

That's all.


Monday, January 11, 2010

One week down

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

I survived the first week on the crazy diet and now it becomes less crazy. And even though it wasn’t as crazy as it was the first time I did it, I found last week hard.

Besides the fact that J got sick, it was harder to do with a kid and husband than when it was just me. I thought it would be easier because I’d have someone around to ask me how I was doing and remind me that the thing I’m about to put in my mouth has lemon/flour/soy etc in it…but it was harder. And the temptation was greater. I think largely because J still had to have dairy. I never thought I’d want a bite of yogurt so badly!

I guess when it was just me, it was a lot easier because I emptied my house of all those things I wasn’t allowed to have. There was no yogurt or cheese in my fridge at all. I didn’t buy citrus fruit for anyone else…all that stuff.

But I did fairly well on week one, so week two can only be better!

Thursday, January 07, 2010


This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

Day one and day two went the way day one and day two always go…fine, but hard. I had sushi on Tuesday because it was a colleague’s birthday and I know it had soy, vinegar and sugar in it, but I figured it wasn’t a huge amount and it was only one day. Besides, this isn’t an absolute diet…

But then the evening of day two hit and it became apparent I wasn’t going to work on day three…J was sick…again (this is one of the unfortunate side effects of sending your otherwise healthy toddler to daycare…they come home with every bug out there!). J being sick would have been fine, except that she gave me her bug too. It wasn’t as bad as hers, but yesterday was a ginger ale (sugar), cracker (wheat) and chicken noodle soup (more wheat) day for me. I was feeling better by dinner time and today I’m on track, but it sure is frustrating to hit a hurdle like that right at the beginning of the crazy diet…

I debated what to do about the obvious non-diet day and decided to stay with my plan. Things come up and that’s just life. And hopefully when this is over, I’ll feel much much better!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Not Quite As Crazy Diet

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

Some time last fall J developed a rash on her cheeks that just wouldn’t go away. Finally in May I went to see a naturopath (not the one who gave me the Crazy Diet!). She specializes in pediatric naturopathy as well and pre- and post-partum women, (she was perfect – I’d definitely go back and see her and I highly recommend her. Email me if you’d like her name).

We had by then decided that J’s problem was probably something she was eating and we were worried it might be her formula. The naturopath didn’t want to make such a huge change to J’s diet right away – she wanted to try a few things first. So J got to go on her first elimination diet – for two weeks she had to avoid all the food on a list, yup a diet list, and then we could add things in one at a time every three days. Eliminations diets are both harder and easier when your baby only eat about twelve foods…not as much to cut out, but also not as many things to replace the eliminated food with! Because I was still breastfeeding and the formula was a supplement, I also had to go on a diet. I had been pretty tired for a while, so the naturopath suggested some modifications to the crazy diet for me to try once we had J sorted out. And that’s the diet I’m going to follow this time to try to get rid of the fatigue. It has more calcium and more fruit and vegetable options than the original crazy diet.

It’s a bit nuts for the first week and then it eases off the second week . Instead of a two week run, I’m going to try a four week run this time. Week one with all the stuff gone and weeks 2-4 with some of the options added.

Week One
All dairy products
Corn and Soy products
Pickled food/vinegar
Egg, Wheat/gluten
Alcohol, Caffeine

Weeks Two – Four
All dairy except yogurt and plain milk
Wheat (can be added at the beginning of the week but should be limited as much as possible)
Corn and Soy products
Pickled food/vinegar
Citrus (can be added at the end of week two)
Sugar (can be added half way into week two)
Alcohol, Caffeine

And today’s the start of the diet…we’ll see how it goes!

Oh and it turns out J was sensitive to apples – which weren’t on the elimination diet and my mom figured out the day after we arrived at her house for a visit…

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Crazy Diet

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

When I got the list for the crazy diet five years ago, I didn’t know how I was going to manage. The list was long and was of all the things I wasn’t allowed to eat.

Yeah right.

The list was so overwhelming that at first I thought I was going to cry. And spend a lot of time crying. I had to say goodbye to smoothies for breakfast (no yogurt or bananas allowed), hot chocolate (no chocolate allowed), my staple peanut butter sandwiches for lunch (no peanuts allowed), most fruits and anything for dinner that had tomatoes, lentils or beans…So for the first couple of weeks I ate a lot of oatmeal, hard boiled eggs, rice, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, apples, oranges and baked fish and chicken. And that was about it. But then I stared getting creative and doing things like substituting cauliflower for the peppers in one of my favourite curries. I went home for Christmas and got out all of my mom’s cookbooks and combed through them looking for recipes that didn’t have any of the ingredients on the list.

I expanded my repertoire of cooking and started to feel better. I lost a few pounds. It wasn’t an absolute, no cheating – the naturopath promised me I’d see a huge improvement in my issues with fatigue within 4-6 weeks and eventually I’d get to add some things back in. And that one meal or day of eating that didn’t fit with the list wasn’t going to kill me. Literally on day one of week 5 the improvements started. Not long after I got to add small amounts of some of the things back in. On Christmas Day, the list was hidden out of sight and I got to eat whatever I wanted, within reason, and I didn’t feel horrible the next day. For the next year and half I was very diligent with the list and then it gradually fell off, but I knew what the signs where and when I needed to go back to it. Every once in a while I get very fatigued again and go back to the crazy diet for a couple of weeks and then ease back into regular food. And it works.

I pretty much avoid soy when I can (I do like soy sauce with my sushi!) and corn as much as possible and I have a drink every once in a while, but the rest of it can be found regularly in my diet. A side benefit is that I hardly eat any prepackaged, processed foods. Did you know most of those foods have soy or corn or both in some form!

So here’s the crazy diet list:

Corn and Soy products
Fermented dairy products including sour cream, yogurt and cheese
Beans – green as well as fava, kidney, garbanzo etc, Peas and pea pods and other legumes including lentils
Some nuts including peanuts and walnuts, but not cashews, almonds or pecans
Tomatoes and tomato products
Peppers and pepper products, Avocados
All citrus fruit and most tropical fruits including bananas, mangoes, pineapple, papaya etc. Grapes and raisins, plums, prunes, apricots and peaches
Pickles or dried fish
Liver products including liverwurst (EW!)
Yeast concentrates and homemade bread
Meat extracts including bouillon cubes and Worcestershire sauce
Pickled anything/vinegars especially balsamic
Luncheon meats, sausage and any other meat or fish that isn’t fresh or frozen
Beer and ale, wine and any fermented alcoholic beverage
Chocolate and cocoa

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Back from the black hole

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

Yup, I’m still here. I’ve been meaning to post for ages, but, well, life as a Mommy sometimes takes over everything! Add a sick toddler and Christmas in there and that pretty much takes care of any spare moments I might have had to think about maybe blogging!

Since my last post I’ve been busy. I discovered a good way to lose eight pounds in two weeks is to go on holiday with your husband and toddler to the UK and walk a lot, sometimes pushing the toddler in a stroller, sometimes carrying the (then 22 pound) toddler in a baby carrier.

I haven’t been on the scale since just after I got back, so I don’t know if I kept the weight off or not. I’m scared to even think about the scale right now since I haven’t been paying as close attention as I should to what I’m eating with the holidays here.

Since we got back from our trip, I’ve been battling with fatigue – first there was jet lag, then colds, then J got the stomach flu, then I had to cram a whole lot of work into just a few days to make up for the days I missed when J was sick. I’ve had some major problems with fatigue before – a few years ago I spent about ten months in and out of the doctor before going to a naturopath. He put me on a crazy diet, but it worked. When J was about 9 months old, she was in to see a naturopath and she put me on a modified version of the crazy diet (maybe I’ll post those tomorrow) to help J and to alleviate some of my tiredness (not to be mistaken for fatigue).

Well, since the fatigue is back, I’ve decided that I need to start on a modified version of the diet and see if that helps – I was going to start today, but we have one last family holiday function tomorrow so I figure I’ll wait until Monday. The diet is quite limited and it will be next to impossible to eat where we’re going tomorrow if I’m on it…

So with the new year comes my one and only resolution (I don’t do resolutions normally since I think my year starts in September) – to post here at least twice a week.

See you soon!