He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. —Psalm 113:9

September 12, 2011

Pale-No! Or, Project: Oven Repair, Take Two

With anniversary celebrations out of the way, today is the day I get Project: Oven Repair back on the rails. When I said a couple of weeks ago that I was taking a break from said project to protect my sanity, I mentioned that I was considering trying the Paleo Diet when I was ready to resume P:OR. If you don't know what the Paleo diet is, it's basically the way humans are believed to have eaten prior to the advent of agriculture, and involves foods that can, in theory, be either hunted or gathered, even though these days most folks do their hunting and gathering at the supermarket. In short, the rules pretty much boil down to, "Eat like a caveman."

And now I have "Captain... CAAAAAVE maaaaaaaaaaaan!" running through my head. If you recognize that then congratulations! You're old like me. And now it's stuck in your head, too.

You're welcome.

But back to the diet. At first glance, the Paleo diet sounds like it might be a good idea for battling PCOS. It's low-glycemic, and gluten-free to boot. There's even a variation called Paleo Zone, a mash-up of the Paleo diet and my current eating plan of choice, the Zone diet, which involves eating Paleo-approved foods in Zone-approved proportions. Sounds good!

Except, did you know that dairy products are considered "agriculture"? Apparently, cave men didn't milk livestock and turn said milk into delicious things like cheese or yogurt. Also, peanuts, along with other legumes, are an agricultural product, since they have to be planted and nurtured and grown and harvested, and can't simply be found on trees like actual nuts, and are hence verboten.

So, let's see: on the Paleo diet, I would not be allowed to eat cheese. Or yogurt. Or peanut butter.

To which I say: Pale-NO!

I could give up yogurt, I suppose, if I had to. I could even see myself conceivably going for a while without cheese if I must. But peanut butter? Only if you pry it from my cold, dead, Smucker's-coated fingers.

So clearly, the Paleo diet is not for me. Moving on, I also considered trying the first phase of South Beach. From what I understood of the South Beach diet, it's basically a rip-off of very similar to the Zone, the primary difference being that South Beach is marketed as a weight-loss diet, while the Zone is touted as more of a nutrition plan for combating chronic illnesses. The other difference is that the South Beach plan involves "phases" -- a super-strict Phase One and a semi-strict Phase Two that lead you to the pretty-much-identical-to-the-Zone Phase Three; the idea being that the first two phases kill your sugar and carb cravings and stimulate weight-loss.

A more strict version of the Zone sounded like exactly what I needed. But after doing a little more research, I realized that Phase One of South Beach is, essentially, the Atkin's diet. And I've had my experiences with the Atkin's diet, and they were not pleasant.

So here's a thought, Jean: why not just stick with the Zone diet, but be more strict with yourself about limiting non-favorable carbs?

Huh. It's so simple, I wonder why I didn't think of that myself.

So starting today I'm back in the Zone, but I'm planning to go at least a week (and to try for two) without any bread or grains (except for steel cut oats, which are low-glycemic and too nutritious to give up completely). And of course I'm also putting the kibosh on sugar (again). I think the reason I kept plateauing last time and couldn't break that 165 lb. barrier was because I was eating way too much bread. Although I had cut down on it and was sticking to whole grain varieties, it's not the best choice for controlling blood sugar, and I was eating a lot of sandwiches and breakfast toast, basically depending too much on bread to round out my daily carb allotment.

Of course, this was partly because bread is so cheap. In preparation for a week of eating sans bread, I stocked up on plenty of fresh produce, and I'll just say that I'm thankful neither Matt's nor my eyes popped out of our heads or permanently froze in the size of saucers once we saw the total at the checkout counter.

Because of this, I'll probably be gradually working sandwiches back into the meal rotation after this initial week to help get all of the bad carbs out of my system. But from now on I'll be opting for lower-glycemic varieties like rye and pumpernickel, and I'll probably be limiting it to the weekends.

So here's the plan:
  • 1 to 2 weeks without any bread, sugar or alcohol,
  • after which I can have low GI bread on occastion, and one or two glasses of wine or beer on the weekends (until we're actively TTC, at which point it will be verboten).
  • After the first month, I can resume the occasional "cheat" night two times a month to keep myself from feeling deprived.
And during all of this I'll be walking (and eventually wogging) 45 minutes every morning, six days a week, and alternating cardio-kickboxing, pilates and yoga in the evenings.

And if that doesn't knock out this last twenty pounds and make my body baby-ready, then I don't know what will.


Hope said...

Sounds like a good plan! I hope it works! :-)

Jean Bauhaus said...

Thanks, Hope! Fingers crossed...

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