21DSD T-1 ready?

Join me!

pure paleo 30


I did my “big shop” yesterday: chard, cauliflower, zucchini, Italian chicory, peppers, cucumbers, Granny Smith apples, pink grapefruit, pork shoulder, fresh salmon, smoked salmon, eggs, pork belly, pheasant and chicken bones, and on. I made stock overnight from the chicken thigh bones leftover from dinner. And we smoked the back bacon yesterday. I use the Royal We, but in fact, Jeff watched the smoker temperature all day. I helped by curing the meat for a week, flipping it in the smoker and then putting it away this morning.

Today I’m going to roast the pork shoulder and use up the ground beef I bought a couple days ago. And practice what I preach: sketch out some meals using the  meal planning forms I found on the internet. Each of these forms provides a space for planning breakfast. I felt confused at first. I’ve never really planned a week of breakfasts. Then…

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21DSD mind games: quieting the alarm

mind games: when I think about eliminating foods from my menu, it triggers “scarcity brain” – I feel the urge to eat more of the Yes foods than I probably need and in the past, I’ve overdone it when trying out new ingredients (everything swimming in coconut milk; all almonds all the time).

This 21DSD, I’m trying something different. I will focus on the positive – the abundance of healthy, nutritious, delicious foods that are always available to me. I want to reframe my thinking so I keep my brain’s alarm system from ringing: I’m not eliminating food, I’m choosing better food. I’m not losing weight; I’m improving my health.

Science is showing us that our brains change according what we focus on – and that we can guard against the brain’s natural bias towards the negative, by choosing our thoughts. Eating is one of the most intimate acts of living – taking something into me that becomes me. I honor my body and my life with every choice I make.

What kind of self-talk rattles around your head? Do you use affirmations or other tricks to reframe your thinking?

Keep the conversation going on 50Fit

Detox Measured. Result = Success

I was really skeptical about this program, but not anymore.

After thirty days:
Down 5.5 lbs. (2.5 kg) and 2% body fat. My weight loss stalled during the 2-shakes-a-day week. That surprised me. I can’t even begin to speculate about the reasons. More surprising than the weight loss is the change in my measurements. I shrunk 2 inches on waist (narrowest part of my torso), 3 inches on hip (and my unique measurement at my navel 4.5 inches gone – belly bloat, anyone?).

The best result is the reduction in inflammation in my hand – the topic of yesterday’s post.

Food introductions.
I tried some tomato sauce and ground beef yesterday. My finger is inflamed again today. Salt? Tomato? Sugar?

I also tried some Greek yogurt and fruit. I didn’t like how I felt. Berries taste very sweet now and the yogurt was feh. I prefer a cocoa-avocado-coconut milk pudding.

Dr Sara challenges everyone to write a personal food code. I’m not at my goal weight yet, and my fasting blood sugar is trending down, but still higher than Dr Sara’s recommendations. My own GP says they’re good enough.

I want to keep doing what works.

My personal food code:
I’ve decided to remain gluten, grain- and sugar-free for another month. I will limit dairy to a splash in my morning coffee.

Continue probiotics. Continue water.

Next: explore FODMAP to help with gut & insulin resistance

Dr Sara says not to worry if you didn’t lose “enough” weight – Weight-loss can continue post-detox and to pay attention to fiber and carbohydrate consumption. Okay. Onwards for another 30 days!

Challenge question: If you had all the money you thought you needed, what would you do to make your life less stressful? What steps can you take to implement one or two of those ideas?

the 30-day detox challenge is winding up


Today is Day 27 of the detox challenge. It annoys my desire for symmetry that we did not start on the first day of the month, which would have made it easy to figure out the day of the challenge. It makes no sense to have Day 27 on the 25th of October.

I will take my measurements later this week. And tally up the results. I have complied with the program to a pretty high degree, but not 100 percent. I think that I’ve benefited from it. I have had a lot of inflammation in my left hand and a “trigger lock” finger for the last year. The inflammation prevents me from gripping with my fingers. The trigger lock finger comes from inflammation on the tendon which gets stuck in the joint. The Mayo Clinic website says the cause is unknown but that it’s common in diabetic, middle-aged women. [Hello.]  Surgery is the recommended treatment. I’ve already had steroid shots and compression sleeves. And rest. As in no-typing. Voice dictation sucks.

The good news is that the inflammation is almost entirely gone. I see some other improvements too. My skin feels better. And my weight is down. More on that later.

What I’ve done well: eating a pretty clean diet. And following the shake-requirement. The detox protocol progressively eliminates pro-inflammatory foods: red meat, gluten, dairy, caffeine, and fructose.  I did very well foregoing red meat and gluten. I also gave up fruit without a fight. (I already limit my fruit consumption to berries most of the time because of their sugar content.)  I limited dairy to about 1/8 or 1/4 cup in my morning coffee. And I drastically reduced my espresso consumption. I gave myself a pass when faced with a writing deadline. I just did not want to struggle with a caffeine-withdrawal headache while trying to produce an important piece of persuasive writing.

Other aspects of the detox were more challenging. I didn’t find the discussion forum useful. It was too big and too hard to find my way back to conversation threads. And I don’t like reading questions from people who would rather ask 1,000 people than look something up for themselves. “Let me google that for you” comes to mind.

Another fail for me was limiting screen time and going to bed early. I stay up too late, like to read and like to chat with friends. A lot of my work is “on-line” connecting with people in different time zones around the world.

I thought (hoped) I would lose more weight than I have. I think the two-shakes-a-day put the brakes on. I had been losing pretty steadily until that point. Maybe too many carbs? But right now, the weight loss is stalled. We’ll see what happens as I transition back to a regular meal plan.  I will return to Low-Carb High-Fat “Green Paleo” (of my own invention).

If you’re interested in more information about the meal plan I’ve created for myself, let me know.

Stay tuned for the final results later this week.

Carb Loaded – new film

Yekra Player

Carb Loaded

The film traces the origins of our beliefs about healthful and unhealthful food. Experts from all over the world talk about the problems as well as short and long term solutions. Among the many experts in the film are authors like Gary Taubes, Mark Sisson, and Melanie Warner. Medical doctors such as David Perlmutter M.D., David L. Katz, and Timothy Noakes share insights that are certain to challenge the status quo.

Carb-Loaded: A Culture Dying to Eat is a chronicle of the things its writer and director Lathe Poland learned after he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He sought to find out why he got sick, because he didn’t fit the classic picture of an adult onset diabetes sufferer. He quickly learned that much of what he knew about healthy eating was based on myths or fifty year old science. In the film he searches out why Americas modern food culture is killing us. The upside? There is a lot that can be done!

Beware of success!

A little success can knock us off our game!

When good things start happening, it’s common for people to stop paying attention to the things they were doing that put those good things in motion.  Lost a little weight? Stop making notes in your food journal.

When this happens, it’s time to strengthen the activities that form the foundation for success. Keep your focus on the actions that bring good results.

detox prep countdown

Shopping in The Netherlands for things that are common in the US can be a challenge.  Part of preparing for the detox has been locating the recommended ingredients like vegan protein powder. Smoothies are a foundation meal during the program. One a day for a week; then two a day for a week.  

I found a powder made from rice and chorella protein. There were three choices – plain, vanilla and chocolate. The plain had more carbohydrates and green coffee bean extract. I couldn’t understand all the ingredients (which were listed in Dutch). And I couldn’t tell standing in the store whether green coffee bean extra contains caffeine. I chose the more versatile vanilla.  I can add my own cocoa powder if I want a chocolate smoothie. 

I have been enjoying my morning coffee and occasionally skipping my afternoon pick-me-up.  During the first week, I will switch to hot water with lemon and maybe a bit of cayenne powder.  

I also invested in a tongue scraper and some sesame oil for “pulling.”  I’m off to read about what all this entails.  But first, some pumpkin soup.


Start with stabilizing your spine

First order of the day: protect your spine.

A stable spine will allow you to move well and reduce risk of injury.  Coach and physical therapist Dr. Kelly Starrett teaches how to organize and brace our spines to improve physical health and athletic performance.  And yes, we are all athletes. (You can learn more about Kelly at MobilityWOD.)

Kelly demonstrates this bracing sequence in a 7-minute video over at the CrossFit Journal.  You can view the video here.

Here is the check-list:

  1. stand with feet straight, below your lungs. squeeze your butt as hard as you can, which sets your pelvis.
  2. pull your ribcage down.
  3. get your belly tight (on an out-breath, engage your abs).
  4. set your head in a neutral position and draw your shoulders back into a stable position.

Practice this sequence throughout the day. Use it as the starting point for any move, including standing and sitting.

Whether you’re at work, running errands, talking with friends, the set up is always the same: feet straight, back flat, belly tight, head neutral and shoulders rotated back to a stable position.  Don’t stand with your arms crossed, shoulders rolled forward, back slouched or feet angled out like a duck.

Below, Kelly demonstrates the pelvic gimble.