Friday, February 24, 2012

Anti-Inflammatory Dieting: Wrap-Up

Today is the last Friday for me to report my progress as I participate in Erica's anti-inflammatory dieting challenge.

So, how'd I do this week?  Better, I think. 
  • We continued to keep added sugar at lower levels in our home-cooked food and drinks, and continued using organic cane juice crystals, honey and maple syrup as our sweeteners.
  • Our meals were pretty meaty, with venison and pork being the protein in most of them.  Organic free-range (storebought) chicken also made an appearance in a couple of meals.
  • I managed to get a bit more exercise this week with a couple of afternoon walks and another 3-story stair climb at my doctor's office.  I know that doesn't sound like much, but if it's not something I normally do around the house (cleaning, gardening, hanging laundry, etc.), then I just don't get much exercise.
  • After said doctor's appointment and fasting lab work, I treated myself to lunch at a local restaurant called Ingredient.  It was a better choice than most places I could have gone.  I had a sandwich of salmon, bacon, avocado, spinach and tomato on an in-house-made ciabbatta roll and a side order of "grilled and chilled" veggies that included asparagus, onion, squash, and peppers.  I didn't feel much guilt about that meal.  :)
  • I'm still using a lot of coconut oil in cooking and as a stir-in for oatmeal.   If you add coconut oil, coconut, nuts, and maple syrup to oatmeal, your breakfast tastes a whole lot like the coconut-pecan frosting that's typically on German chocolate cake.  Now how can that be wrong?
  • We drank kombucha most days, and we're currently trying to figure out how much to make to keep us in our kombucha habit.
  • I wasn't trying to lose any weight, and I didn't.  I weigh exactly the same as I did a month ago.

Where did I fail?  A few places:
  • We ordered pizza one night.  Not utterly horrible, but I'm pretty sure it would have been more healthy if I'd made it at home.
  • On the same evening, I gave in to a craving for a Route 44 Vanilla Coke from Sonic.  Not just sugar, but sugar on top of sugar.  I found out later that Shane had also drank a soda that day.
  • Did not do quite as well at sticking with my sleep schedule.  There were a couple of nights when it was midnight or close to it when I turned out the light, and I felt it the next day.

My thoughts:
  • I think, after most of a month trying to eat better, I do feel better.
  • The pain I had been feeling in my right shoulder and right hip has been noticeably less the    past few weeks. 
  • I think, most days, my energy and mental focus were better this month.

What now?
  • We'll continue with the sugar reduction/changes in our drinks and baked goods here at home.   Why give up now that we have a good start?
  • We will continue using a lot of coconut oil in our foods and also our homemade health and beauty aids.
  • We'll continue to eat a meaty diet of wild venison, locally raised pork, occasional free-range poultry and occasional seafood.  I'll be trying to work salmon into our diet a little more often.
  • I don't think any of us is ready to give up grains, but I will continue to research healthier ways to cook them.
  • There might be one more follow-up post for me.  Because I was in a migraine medication study, I had lab work done on January 28 and again on February 22.  Since those dates nearly coincide with this diet challenge, improvements (or setbacks) should show in the blood work.  It will be a week or more before I get the results, but if there is anything to post about, I will at that time.
The nature of a challenge like this caused me to be more aware of food and dieting in general.  The way I see it, there are always better choices to be made, so why not make them?  On the other hand, there are always better choices to be made, but there is no way to make every one of them, so why not cut myself some slack?  I think the best a person can do is educate themselves, decide what makes sense to them, make all of the easy changes, make some of the more challenging changes, and make a couple of the really difficult ones.  See what happens, then tweak things as needed.  An all or nothing approach can be a good thing (like when I quit smoking), but I think in most things, baby steps lead to better success.

What do you think?  Have any of you made any recent dietary changes, and if so, how's it going for you?
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