Amy After

Tips, motivation & advice for a gluten-free lifestyle

November 2010 archive

New Gluten Free Guide

One of the most crucial parts of losing over 160lbs for me was getting gluten out of my diet. Even more importantly, my health improved by about 1,000%! No more swelling, achy joints, digestive problems, resistance to weight loss, foggy thinking, high blood pressure, extreme weight fluctuations… There are SO MANY people out there who are suffering on a daily basis who don’t have to. I am approached over and over by people who know that I have a gluten intolerance and are curious to know if they too might have it. I find myself having the exact conversation with every one of them, answering the same questions and offering the same explanations. They just need to know the basics, short and simple.

I found myself fervently wishing that I had a complete, but concise and straight forward guide I could steer them toward to answer their questions. There are many websites, blogs and books out there addressing the subject but nothing exactly like I wished for them. It finally dawned on me to just go ahead and write one! I’m working on it now and will make it available on this site as an ebook. I am excited about it as it will hit all the high points and help people decide if they very well could be suffering from this problem and could change their own lives by applying this crucial information themselves.

What Happens if You Only Eat 500 Calories a Day

After feeling really discouraged from falling off the 800 calorie per day wagon I wasn’t sure in which direction I would go next. The light at the end of the tunnel was illuminated when a friend told me about someone she knew who was losing the last 20lbs she needed to lose on a Dr. supervised diet which advocated eating 500 calories per day and almost no carbs at all. Wow, seriously? I couldn’t handle eating only 800 calories so how in the world would I get through my day on 500? But I’m game to try almost anything so I dove in head first.

For a week I ate 2 eggs fried in a little Earth Balance for breakfast, 5 oz baked turkey breast for lunch (covered in mustard, my new best friend), and a couple Tilapia fish fillets cooked in a little Earth Balance for dinner. I drank tons of Smart Water (extra electrolytes) and several cups of coffee and tea per day sweetened with no carb stevia. I did have the sensation of my stomach being empty quite a bit which is a feeling that I still find unsettling. But I quickly realized that there were no cravings at all! I had tons of energy and my mind was crystal clear. I experienced no sleepiness at all during the day either. So, at the end of the week I’ve lost 7 lbs. I feel great and wish I could follow this plan for the rest of my life. I know it’s a very short term thing, just to get over my weight loss plateau, but I’ve proven to myself yet again how bad carbs can make me feel.  Now I’ll add in a variety of non-starchy vegetables to the protein and see what happens. REALLY  need to start exercising soon…

Eating 800 Calories a Day Can Make You FAT!

I was a bit nervous about putting myself on a 750-800 calorie per day plan. I made a grave mistake by not counting the carbs and thought that since the calories were so low, I could “reward” myself with a few extra carbs. The carbs came from things like raisins, tomato soup, butternut squash soup and LOTS of peanut butter. Now the total carbs were still very low, but for me they were just too high (maybe around 30 grams) . I felt like I was starving to death! I lost 4lbs after getting through the first week but then midway through the second week I couldn’t stand the cravings any longer and started eating everything in sight! I didn’t eat anything I wouldn’t normally eat but ate tons more of the foods I had already been eating.

I absolutely hated being that out of control, it was such a miserable feeling.  By the time I came to my senses I had gained the 4 lbs I’d just lost! Back to the drawing board. I still can’t exercise much at all so I  need to focus primarily on getting those last 20lbs off via diet. Sigh…

Great Expectations

I was standing in line at the grocery store while picking up a few things during my lunch hour the other day when I noticed something. I came out of the self-involved trance I’d slipped into while waiting in line and started observing the people around me; the check-out lady, the bag boy and most of the customers coming and going. Many of them were carrying extra weight and/or were puffy and bloated looking. People who are far from being “elderly” were walking  with a stiffness that clearly shows how uncomfortable they were  just moving around.

I was stunned as it fully dawned on me that this has come to be accepted as normal. How can this be? The human body is supposed to move easily and fluidly. Our skin is designed to be soft and clear, our hair shiny and our eyes sparkling and bright. A young man in his 20’s should be strong and fit, even without working at it much. A woman in her forties is supposed to be able to bend, stretch and run pretty easily if she so chooses. A body in it’s sixties is designed to participate painlessly in whatever anyone else around them is doing. THIS is what is normal! We should naturally expect to feel good. Having energy, sleeping soundly and being free of general discomfort is natural and should be expected as our normal state of being.

Our society views being alive as synonymous with managing illness. Heartburn, lethargy, headaches and depression are not par for the course. The best part about this though, is that our bodies will automatically gravitate toward health and balance. In most of these cases all we need to do is STOP doing the offending action and the body will take it from there. Stop eating sugar and depression could very well disappear. Stop eating highly processed foods from chain restaurants which use the lowest grade of ingredients and you may never suffer heartburn again. Concentrate on eating mostly protein, veggies and complex carbs and the mid-afternoon sleepiness will probably lift. Yes, I am generalizing here but in many cases it really is that simple!  Expect to feel good most of the time. Know that if you treat yourself well you will be rewarded. But most importantly know that you have the power to affect your own quality of life for better or for worse.