Saturday, September 7, 2013
Well, what do you know? It seems like I just blinked and we're suddenly in September. What happened?
I have had the good fortune of racking up some travel miles the last few weeks. I was in Chicago for a week, and barely just returned from a holiday in Canada starting with a mini-road trip through the Adirondacks from Albany, NY heading north to live Montreal, then west to Kitchener, then back to the States through Buffalo, NY.
Meanwhile, I have been put on a low-carbohydrate/high-protein/virtually-no-sugar (as much eggs and meat with vegetables/fruits, but never pasta, bread, rice, etc.) diet by a nutritionist. My predisposition to diabetes and coronary disease by virtue of awesome genetics (both sides have it - double whammy for lucky me) compounded with my elevated triglycerides which could potentially lead to insulin resistance (read: I could have trouble metabolizing sugar down the road), led this medical professional to believe that I should not be eating as much pasta as I want and accustomed to. Unless of course, I have an intense workout prior. Wise incentive scheme, isn't it? While I am perfectly healthy right now, I feel like I should take this seriously and really try to ban carbohydrates, if only for the challenge of saying it can be done and heck, I did it.
It's been three weeks (not counting the Montreal vacation - I mean, come on! France in North America?) and the first two were miserable. But once my body comprehended the reset that was happening, I sh*t you not, I feel amazing. I've shed a couple pounds already also, but that's secondary.
Everyone can relate to the 3PM slump. I never thought about this before, but after my nutritionist analyzed what my typical meals throughout the day are, even though I thought I was already eating healthy (wheat bread, bananas, no rice, homecooked pasta meals all convert to sugar eventually), he surmised that I was riding on a sugar rush pretty much all day. When that rush is over, my body feels depleted thus signaling me to eat more. And more sugar. And by sugar, I mean anything with flour, wheat or corn, masking as something else.
When I took out carbs out of my diet, I noticed the rollercoaster stopped. A snack to tide me over that infamous 3PM slump has vanished.
I do get cravings every once in a while. Like today. It's crazy to think that I have not had a cookie in a month and I've been jonesing for one lately. So I made a batch today with almond flour, peanut butter, and sweetened just a teeny bit by maple syrup from Canada. Looks are deceiving because although they look just like regular cookies, they taste so much blander, flatter. Well, duh. That's the point. And I can deal with that. :)
And if that's not yet too much preoccupation this summer, I also started swimming a couple months ago! I should clarify that what I meant was I learned how to swim. I went from nada to nado (conjugated form of "I swim" in Spanish - I'm a word nerd like that)! I do laps two to three times a week and guess what I have earned to eat afterwards? Pasta!
I guess the gist of this rambling is this: your mind is powerful. It can tell you, and quite convincingly, that you cannot do things. It will tell you that if you have never swam in your entire life before, you never can. It will tell you that cookies are supposed to be loaded with sugar and that removing sugar and carbs from your diet cannot be done.
But too, the mind is a muscle and posses the latent power of plasticity. Rewiring is innate to your brain. Give yourself more credit before surrendering to false notions that there are things that are impossible. I mean, have you heard about Diana Nyad? If you haven't, you should totally read up on her heroic swim from Cuba to Florida. She's 62 years old, y'all.
It's been the month of empowering challenges. Sometimes, it's easy to forget that that the words "I CAN'T" is mental. Mine aren't as legendary as Diana Nyad's were, but it gives me a feeling of strength knowing that I am able to do things I have never been able to before.
Maybe next year, I'll set my eyes on singing.