April 16, 2015

A Week of Meals, THM-Style

I have to admit that I have a love-hate relationship with planning.  While I love having a plan and an overall goal, it just gets old and tedious to have to figure out 3 meals for each day for all 5 of us.
Salad (kind of on the side) with broccoli
 chicken casserole
I have many days where I just want to get takeout or order a pizza and not have to think about nutrition and variety or about what is on sale and the value of food.
Sometimes I just want to eat, have it be yummy, and not worry about it being on Trim, Healthy Mama, but then I get back to real life, or step on the scale, and remember that it is about long-term health for me and my family.

I get tired of the same old thing.  I do like the comfort in some foods, but even those old standbys need revamping sometimes.

So here's my menu for the week.  I'm at goal weight as well so there might be more crossovers or S-helpers than others would desire.  I work outside the home as well and have to transport food on those days.  I also exercise so I need calories to fuel this.
My goals with this menu are to get wholesome, nutritious foods that are on plan and filling and are family-friendly.  I'm not big on using a bunch of special ingredients, but I do utilize some convenience items.

My family tends to eat what I eat, but I make sure that their meals are rounded out with my kids getting crossovers at most every meal.

I've also discovered accountability for meals and staying on plan thru the TwoGrand app.  I'm KimiTHMadmin so feel free to join me there.  This app takes advantage of the trend of photographing food.  It also has boxes to check off for things like taking vitamins daily and documenting exercise.
I have posted an E breakfast, but the fact is I have coffee with half and half every morning, so for me it would actually be a crossover meal.  Keep that in mind as you plan your meals as well.
I hope you found something to inspire you!
The Menu

Breakfast: Trim, Healthy Pancakes (E) pg 223 in the THM book, or try my "special" version 
Lunch:Chicken, loaded cauliflower casserole, and green beans (S)
Snack: Fat stripping frappe (FP) pg 240 in THM
Dinner: Nacho salad (S)  (lettuce, cheese, salsa, avocado, nacho meat, olives, and sourcream.  Crumble up 1 or 2 corn chips over the top as a garnish that will give you a little crunch)

Broccoli salad
Breakfast: Muffin in a Mug (S) my version is an all flax seed one, or see the book, page 256
Lunch:  Chicken salad on joseph's pita, Broccoli salad (S)
Snack:Half an apple with peanut butter (E)
Dinner: Salmon patties, roasted sweet potatoes, peas (crossover) Use the Crabby Patties recipe in the book on page 338 and I like red palm oil (discussed on page 201-203) for the sweet potatoes.

Breakfast: Chocomocho smoothie (S) page 248 in THM
Lunch:Pimento cheese on a slice of Ezekiel bread, apple (crossover)
Snack:Smoothie (FP)
Dinner: Broccoli chicken casserole with side salad (S)
Melted pimento on ezekiel bread with half an apple

Breakfast: Banana-flavored Muffin in a mug (S)
Lunch:Frittata with side salad (S)
Snack:Pineapple cake (E)
Dinner: Curried chicken and veggies with brown basmati rice (Crossover or s-helper if using only 1/2 cup rice)  I use cubed, cooked chicken, light coconut milk, red curry paste, 2-3 chopped zucchini, and some green peas.

Breakfast: Muffin in a mug (S)
Lunch:Grilled market salad from Chickfila with lowfat dressing (E)
Snack:Apple with 1 tsp peanut butter (E)
Dinner: Burger patty with parmesan and sauteed mushrooms, sauteed cabbage in butter (S)

Breakfast: Cheese eggs, bacon, strawberries(S)
Lunch:Spinach chicken casserole with side salad(S)
Snack:Apple (E)
Dinner: Burrito with low carb shell with Spanish 'rice' quinoa (Crossover)

Breakfast: Ezekiel bread, fried egg, lowfat cheese, strawberries(S-helper)
Lunch:Quinoa casserole with veggies (Crossover)
Snack:Real Peanut Butter Milkshake(S)
Dinner: Pizza pocket with side salad (S)

April 12, 2015

Mutations, Histamine and Thinking Through Issues

I posted a list of links a while back and I'm still working my mind around nutritional needs and mutations.  I have to admit that comprehension and wrapping my head around things takes a bit more time lately and much of my brain power has been focused on starting a new career and on my family.
It also doesn't help that I don't really feel like I have any health issues.  If I woke up with blood glucose issues, heart disease or jaundice from liver disease I might be more focused on working thru it, but as I see it, my general annoyances aren't much of a big deal.
The issue becomes though do all these generalities accumulate and become issues later in life?  Do they show that there is an underlying issue that needs addressing?
Just because I can 'get over it' does it mean that I should just ignore?

This is my dna mutation panel from Genetic Genie.  I figured I'd have a list of green and turns out, I have more yellow than I'd care to see, but my dna isn't changing I'm pretty sure.

So right now I'm really wrapping my head around what all this means.  I'm taking a hard look at my daily level of functioning and looking at what my real goals in health are.
Mostly what this says to me is that I started off with some slowing of some functions, but the thing is, I knew this about 30 years ago.  I knew that the way I responded to some medicines and environmental things was different than how others did.
I never knew that there was a reason for this, but now I know the why is most likely encoded in my dna.
I'm not sure it really changes things in knowing why, but it does make it easier to work on optimizing how things work.  I think that being intuitive and noticing/observant plays a large part in life overall, and often, taking a look at how you respond can help to put you on a better path.  You don't have to always know why and it is often experiential and anecdotal, but that doesn't make it any less valid.

The main issue that I'm seeing personally is histamine tolerance.
I've always wondered why yogurt and fermented foods, that are supposed to be great for you, traditionally relevant and overall superfoods, have always made me feel off.  Not sick or bloated necessarily, but just not good.  I'd get a runny nose when I'd have them, maybe a little itchy even.
After starting Trim, Healthy Mama I was off breads for a while when I decided to make a sourdough.  After eating this healthy, bread with natural, wild-caught yeast, I was just sick.  Initially I thought it was a gluten reaction, but I realized I'd had small amounts of gluten and it didn't seem to be the issue. The souring of the bread seemed to be the problem.  I continued to try different artisan/fridge-style breads with the same results.

As much as I love red wine, I attempted to enjoy a glass after not having any for a few months and ended up with a mild (not anaphylactic) allergic reaction including headache and brain fog for days.

Turns out sourdough, yogurt, kefir, pickles (which I also have always disliked) are all foods that increase histamine.  Things like vinegar in my loved Good, Girl Moonshine is also something that can lead to increases.
So I've cut many cheeses, alcohol, vinegar, sourdough and fermented foods in an attempt to decrease histamine from my diet.

And exercise.... I love to push myself, but I'd find that I would have this odd flushing that happened with really intense running.  It didn't happen with other high-intensity exercise, like Focus T25, but only with sustained high-intensity activities like running.  I'd also have itching and hives with this type of exercise as well.
Further research showed me that it is also histamine producing.

And then there is the environmental stuff.  (stuff is not exactly a real scientific term, but I'm not a real scientist).  I'm fine most of the time, but some chemicals, scents and products bring on itchy eyes, hives and a drippy nose.

So why the focus on histamine?
The build up in histamine can lead to increase in homocysteine which can lead to disease.
I've not had a homocysteine level drawn as of this time, but I still work on doing the things that should ideally help to keep the levels low.
I also find that many of the daily allergy type symptoms I always thought were just a part of life, don't have to be issues if I watch what I eat.

My issues with histamine most likely stem from the mutations and the slowing of processes in my body.  Taking in excess histamine in foods and creating it with exercise put more into my system than what it can handle.
For me, it has taken knowing what foods tend to be bigger triggers.

Your body has an enzyme that helps to break down histamine.  The DAO enzyme that aids in histamine metabolism can be blocked or limited by certain foods as well.

For me, treatment is about looking at the body as a whole.  I don't want to just treat one body system or chemical.  I do not have candida or specific issues to treat, so I find that looking at whole body nourishment is the best thing for me personally.
Specifically, I've taken many foods, including ones I enjoy, off my plate.  I'm no longer using apple cider vinegar or eating yogurt.  No more kefir or wine.
But the list of what I may have is still quite long.  I can enjoy breads made with sprouted grains as I haven't noted any symptoms with these.  No more fermented dairy, but I can still enjoy cream and half and half.
I really am not so very limited though there is quite a list of foods that can lead to excess histamine.  I just have not found that they affect me very much personally.

I've changed how I exercise as well.  No more running just to run.  I'm doing more purposeful training with a focus on heart rate variability and strength training.

Now supplements.  I actually hate them?  I prefer to think I can get by on just eating great, quality food.  But most of what I'm seeing by way of research and opinion is that when you have mutations, you really do need to offer the body specific versions of vitamins and mineral to optimize processes.
I realize I'm not going to live forever most likely.  I get that death is the final frontier, but the fact is, I don't want to have to deal with early stroke, heart attack or debilitation.  I'm 46, but I still have a toddler and I need to work and be functional in life so I take supplements to offset the fact that life, and my diet, are not always perfect.

The supplement plan I'm using isn't just due to histamine, but is what I've determined as my primary and secondary ones for my health.
Things that I consider primary, baseline supplements (I've linked for convenience, but these are NOT affiliate links.  Find them cheaper and let me know!) are:
EcoGreen by NOW 2 caps every morning
Vitamin D-3 2,000iuby Swanson's 1 every morning
Cod Liver Oil by Swanson's 1 every morning
Tart Cherry 1 cap every morning

I also use NOW's Liquid Cal-Mag 1 T every night

My secondary supplements are things that are more specific for my metabolic/mutational needs.  They include:
NAC 1 cap every morning
Folate (5 Methyltetrahydrofolic acid) 1 every morning
Medium Chain Triglycerides Oil 1 Tbsp each night at bedtime
Red Reishi 1 capsule

Herbs that I'm finding helpful for daily use include a drink of
Vitamin C with Rosehips 1 gram
Tri-salts (1/2 tsp)
Triphala powder (1/2 tsp)
Gotu Kola powder (1/2 tsp)
Ginger, ground (1/2 tsp)
Turmeric, ground (1/2 tsp)

I am posting what I'm using specifically because it helps me to understand and have a reference point for things.  Don't feel that these are things that you should be taking or that they will help you.  This is just the direction I'm going based on my personal research.
Sites I've found helpful include:
BeachBody  They have workouts for just about everyone one.
Bulletproof Tons of info from diet (goes well with THM principles), histamine and sleep
And because I am a big believer in the power of diet:
Trim, Healthy Mama The Plan that I consider to be the best at healing and nutrition.
Green Smoothie Girl Because I believe in the healing power of veggies.

April 2, 2015

Comfort Food: Easy Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Every now and then you need some comfort food.
It's been a rough few weeks and my body was craving some mac and cheese.
I use Dreamfields pasta once a month maybe, as I usually prefer to use veggies over traditional pasta.  Today I needed some pasta.
It is still on plan with Trim, Healthy Mama, and I have always done well as far a maintaining and losing while using this product so I call it all good.
This recipe is S and could be jazzed up with the addition of some broccoli or other veggies, but that wasn't going to happen here today.


Stovetop Mac and Cheese-S

makes 1 serving

1/4 cup dry elbow pasta from Dreamfields (one serving per the box)
1/4 C shredded cheddar
2 TBSP shredded parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp almond milk

Boil water with salt to cook the pasta.  Follow the box directions of 8 minutes for elbows.  (I actually do 7.5 minutes to keep the firmness.
Strain pasta when cooked and return it to the first pan you used.
Add the almond milk and cheeses.  Stir well till all is melty and coated.  Add salt and pepper at this time (I find fresh parmesan salty enough to not need more).