Monthly Archives: February 2014

2/20/2014 Don’t faint it’s only a blog post

Thursday.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  No blog, no blog, where’ve I been?  Busy, busy, busy like you wouldn’t believe.  Moving from NYC to CT full-time.  March 1st is final moving date from the movers.  I can’t tell you how glad I am going to be when that is over.  It’s just not where my heart is any more.  If you had said to me even 5 years ago that I would be happier in CT and I would be living here full-time I would have said you’re nuts.  There is a lot of work involved in “country” living (I’m not really even close to country living but I have grass so I call it that.)  I have so many little things I want to document and share that I have been lax on updating.

When we last left off I was doing the Grand to Grand Ultra — that was a lifetime ago.  Didn’t finish.  Did 80 miles (day 1 full, day 2 half, no day 3 or 4, day 5 full, day 6 half and called it quits).  Great experience.  Would highly recommend for a select few who really enjoy hiking, campling, climbing rocks and running in sand.   I don’t think I’ll go back to do that one again (never say never) but I will go back for some hiking in that area because it is amazing.

The rest of fall/winter went by so crazily fast I don’t even know where it went.  Lots of work.

Health wise I’ve really been working on a holistic approach.  No more diets because I really don’t believe in them.  Lose ten gain back twenty.  Every time.  I am more interested in lifestyle changes and how to make them stick.  There is no one answer and anyone who tries to tell me that it is just calorie in/calories out or it is just meditation or it  is just exercise they haven’t walked the journey.  The people who make it stick address their emotional issues as well as dietary and physical.  That’s my new motto — it’s not one thing.  You can do all the yoga and drink all the green juice you want but if you still have an emotional barrier it’s not going to stick.  And you can go to all the therapy sessions you want but if you are still chowing down on a big Mac everyday, it’s not going to stick.  It’s mind, body and soul food.

What really prompted me to write today is actually waking up and feeling pretty good.  I’ve been struggling for the last couple of months with sleep.  The absolute cornerstone of a healthy life.  I don’t even have to say “in my opinion.”   Sleep is number 1.   Period.  If you don’t get enough sleep you will be lethargic the next day.  Your body will crave calories because it needs energy.  Your mind will not be strong to help you fight off lazy cravings.  Your body will not want to exercise.  I’ve been struggling with sleep for awhile, there have been a couple of causes.  First my bed.  I am sleeping on an old bed in CT and although it has no lumps or bumps, it is hard as a rock and I guess that causes me to toss and turn all night.  Second, night sweats (or hot flashes or whatever you want to call them).  Every single night for three weeks straight I woke up in the middle of a polar-vortex sweating like crazy.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was so hot and then the flash would go away and I’d be freezing.  I just figured okay it’s that time of my life.  Get used to it.

November 1st I quit drinking.  Period.  Not for 1 year or 1 month, I’m just not doing it anymore.  I really thought my wine was part of the problem.  I thought the wine was making me not be able to sleep and be tired all the time.  Then it was starting to make me feel sick.  My body was telling me, time to quit this crap so I did.  Glad I quit but alas, no help in the sleep department or with night sweats (which have come on and off for a year or so but not as bad as the last couple of months.) (And no weight loss either, feel kind of ripped of about that one!)

Since moving to CT I had started to indulge in some dairy and eggs.  I figured if I could go to the farm and see the happy cows and the happy chickens and they were treated humanely and were fed proper feed for cows and chickens I would partake of dairy.  I started to eat raw, local cheese and get eggs from the local farm up the road.  Then I started to eat organic pasturized cheese (as long as it did not have rennet and was certified organic and pasture-free cows.)  Then I started eating some yogurt from one of the local farms.  Then I read it was terrible to eat the processed Earth Balance that I LOVED and tried to eat organic butter but that didn’t sit too well.  I couldn’t eat that.  But for the last year I had been eating cheese and eggs regularly.  Loving my little omelettes on my Ezekiel bread.    No difference in my iron levels whatsoever.  Only thing that seems to make a difference is either taking iron pills or drinking heavy amounts of dark green juice like wheatgrass or kale juice.

So now January comes and I’m eating veggies and drinking veggies and having my raw cheese and eggs for breakfast and no alcohol and I’m still tired.  I just cannot get a good night’s sleep to save my life.  Those darn night sweats are waking me up.  I didn’t feel it was bad enough to go to the doctor and I was not willing to take any kind of medication for it.  I will just wait Mother Nature out.  When it’s time it is time.

Meanwhile I’m eating more cheese.  I keep thinking every meal “hmm, that would be good with some cheese on it.”  How would lentils and cheese be?   I was growing more and more aware that I had a problem.  Seriously?  Are you going to tell me that now I’m addicted to cheese?  I’ve been addicted to just about everything there is to be addicted to in my life.   I couldn’t believe there could even be such a thing.  A little research at the University of Google and sure enough people get addicted to cheese because of the morphine like effect when Casein (a product of cheese) breaks down.  It’s basically an opiate.  It is supposed to make little calves happy and want to get more milk from their momma.  Well some people, like moi, like the nice feeling that cheese gives them and find it hard to give up.

Back in 2008 when I went Vegan, I thought the one thing that would prevent me from sticking to Veganism would be raw oysters with shots of chilled vodka.  Not that I consumed those regularly, but in my mind that was the one indulgence I would never, ever be able to pass up.   Within two weeks of giving up dairy I didn’t think about it again until 2013.  But I lived in a little fear of someone popping up out of nowhere with a tray of bluepoints and bottle of greygoose.  Luckly, that surprise never happened and now I can’t imagine that I ever ate oysters or shrimp or tuna.

As weeks were going by I was becoming more and more aware of my ‘need to cheese.’  The need was bothering me.  At first I tried to tell myself that my body must be really needing something in the cheese.  It must need the calcium.  Yeah, that’s it.  Or my favorite ‘it must be the protein.’  Now as a long enough vegan I know full well that I get plenty of protein from a plant-based diet but I was looking for a justification.  My body wasn’t craving calcium or protein, it wanted more drugs!!  So in a fit of anger at my predilection for addiction I said ‘that’s it, if you can’t play nicely with cheese you can’t have any more cheese.  It is the brie fini!”    That was nine days ago.

This week I’ve been trying to tackle my old mattress to try to help with the bad sleep.  I bought a fitbit (review on that later).  It confirms that I sleep terribly.  I’ve been so exhausted some mornings that I wake up only to go downstairs and fall asleep on the couch.  The waking up every night in a hot flash wasn’t helping.

My bed from NYC is on it’s way March 1st so I didn’t want to spring for a new bed but I pulled out a memory foam pillow.  Slept with that last night and I definitely slept a little better, not great but better.  And then I suddenly realized something,  I haven’t had a hot flash at night in awhile.  Once it got to seven nights of hotflashes in a row, I had been keeping a little ticker next to my bed.  I had logged over 4 weeks with hotflashes almost nightly then all of a sudden the ticks just stopped.  The last one I had was on the 12th.  The day after I quit dairy.  Now I’m not saying there is a direct correlation but I do suspect it highly.    I’ve been 100% vegan again.  My skin definitely looks a little better in only a week off of dairy and eggs.  And I haven’t had a hot flash in over a week.  Good enough for me.

That’s all for now.





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