Happy New Year

Well here I am again and Happy New Year to you.

I guess I last posted in August, when I was busy getting diagnosed with PCOS. I also had a hysteroscopy to address a possible cause of secondary infertility, in August, I remember.

Since then I have gotten pregnant again and lost it again, and this time it was another painful ordeal. I tried to take Metformin again and it made me unbearably sick again. I got a second opinion about the PCOS, and the second opinion was that I don’t appear to have it and have no earthly business taking Metformin. My husband and I decided to go on a TTC break, so I went back on the birth control pill. I joined a gym and have been going regularly. And starting a week ago, I am eating a mostly-Paleo diet.

Having just finished the first week, I am down 2.6 pounds from my starting weight and not feeling hungry, angry, deprived, or paranoid. I simply don’t miss grains, beans, or refined sugars. Not yet anyway, I realize that this may change over time. I am eating dark chocolate, because I have limits to what I’m willing to give up, and I am eating dairy though I find myself less and less enthusiastic about it, and yesterday only had a little milk with coffee and tea.

In the first two days I could tell that my body was running on lower octane fuel than it was used to. My stomach was also unhappy with me a lot, telling me that I should eat more, specifically some bread. And I did eat half a slice of bread, late at night on the first two nights, to make my stomach stop griping and let me sleep. I’ve been fine without it since then. Yesterday, day six, I simply didn’t feel hungry at all. This morning I have been feeling healthily hungry at appropriate times.

For what it’s worth, I didn’t think very hard about going Paleo, I just did it. I snagged Dana Carpender’s 500 Paleo Recipes as a Kindle Daily Deal, and read the beginning parts. I hard-boiled a bunch of eggs to keep around, made a batch of paleo-nola (nuts and coconut with coconut oil and honey), and found pork rinds at the grocery store. I bought more vegetables than usual. And that’s been that. Breakfast is bacon and eggs and fruit, or paleo-nola and yogurt (though I don’t feel like eating yogurt). Lunch and dinner are meat and vegetables. Snacks are fruit, crudite, hard boiled eggs with anchovies, pork rinds, or nut butter with the aforementioned fruit and crudite. I feel just fine about it.

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More diagnoses

Hello everybody. I’ve been gone for a while, haven’t I. Well I’m back just for a quick post to update my sitch–

You know that we have had trouble conceiving #2. In May I saw an infertility doctor and last week I had a saline infusion ultrasound. It found a uterine polyp, which I am having surgically removed next week. It also found polycystic ovaries. Given my short luteal phase and tendency to put on weight, the doctor officialy diagnosed me with polycystic ovarian syndrome and put me on metformin and a low carb diet. So that’s where I am.

Not much more to say about it, really. “Low carb” is only moderately low carb, 100-130 grams carbohydrate per day. I am on my third day of metformin and feeling much better than yesterday, when I had a crazy bellyache in the night and felt run down all day. Metformin makes me thirsty so I’ve been careful to drink lots of fluid since I started feeling poorly yesterday.

What a miserable diagnosis. I’ve always kind of enjoyed talking about Hashimoto’s disease, but PCOS feels humiliating. HEY EVERYBODY I have a disease that makes me fat, spotty, furry, and bald. Great. Oh also my ovaries are full of marbles.

I was 14 when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, and had enough of a sense of humor to laugh about it. I am now 33 and just being diagnosed with PCOS. I feel nothing but grumpy.

Versatile vegetable soup

I have been making pots of vegetable soup for the first time in years, and I’m loving it. It’s so cheap and easy and healthy! I feel good about myself every time I have a bowl. I have been using a basic recipe inherited from my mother, and freestyling the extras for different flavors with every pot. Here is how I make it:

1 T canola oil
1 c diced onion
1+ c diced celery
1+ c diced carrots or thin baby carrots
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
2 T Mrs. Knorr’s chicken powder
3 quarts water
Salt to taste (the chicken powder will go a long way toward seasoning it)

Heat canola oil in your soup pot and cook onion and celery until they soften. Add the other ingredients and bring to a simmer. Now you are ready to improvise. First, add your seasoning. I use three different combinations:

Scarborough Fair seasoning is parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. It has a traditional European/French flavor.
Italian seasoning is garlic, parsley, basil and oregano. It will make you think of minestrone.
Mexican seasoning is garlic, parsley, cilantro and Cholula hot sauce.

You also want to add more vegetables, by which I mean whatever you have on hand, leftovers or bags of frozen vegetables work equally well.

And then think about adding extras to give it heft. Pre-cooked legumes, grains, and pasta are all good, though you should think about whether you want to add them before or after the soup cooks. Pre-cooked beans and grains don’t seem to suffer from extra cooking, in my experience, while precooked pasta should be added just before you’re ready to eat.

Need I point out that with the 1 T of oil disappearing into about four quarts of soup, this soup becomes 0 PointsPlus per bowl before you add legumes, grain or pasta. Not a bad deal, huh?

Didn’t weigh in on Sunday…

… because after bragging about being down on Friday, I was up THREE POUNDS on Sunday. I was so angry that I didn’t post.

It turns out to have been temporary and mysterious, because this morning (after last night’s heavy dinner of tonkatsu and ramen with spring vegetables) I was down to 194.8. What a relief.

I am not eating as much fruit and veg as I should. I think I’ve been at an okay “maintaining” level of performance the last few days, but not a “losing” one. Need to get back on track. Need to progress past my current post-baby low weight of 191.

I did make one choice that I’m proud of in the past week. On one of the two full days at home alone with my daughter that I have every week, we usually hit McDonalds. We are both suckers for Happy Meal toys and french fries. I mean, who isn’t? And when you’re home with a two year old and outside is cold and raining and you’ve already survived three whole hours of your day before anything good opens in the morning (10:30 in the morning is practically mid-afternoon when you have small children… businesses take note please), you need something fun and easy and available. And a Happy Meal is it.

Anyway: this week instead of ordering a quarter pounder with cheese meal like I usually do, I ordered a Happy Meal for myself. A little tiny hamburger and a miniscule portion of fries. Apple slices and milk, too. And TWO Happy Meal toys, a girl one and a boy one, for my daughter and I to play with. And 40% of the calories for me. Win all around!

The food list

I stepped on the scale this morning and am down a whole pound from last week’s post-bloat low. 194.4 this morning. I’m pleased but also a little embarrassed by how easily that happened. I mean, I fell down over the weekend. I had a cheeseburger and fries, rhubarb crisp, oatmeal raisin cookies, several gin and tonics, and all kinds of processed nibbles that my toddler wanted to feed me (and I’m not going to say no to that all the time, she’s too cute). I’ve never been uncomfortably hungry. But there went that pound.

I am basically eating off of Weight Watchers’ old Core list, with a little extra leeway added in. Here’s what I eat, to satisfaction:

Fruit
Vegetables, including starchy vegetables, including potatoes
Unprocessed meat, any kind but what we have is all lean
Low-fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese
Eggs
Whole grains, mostly oatmeal, brown rice, and popcorn
Whole wheat bread
Spices and herbs
Tea and coffee

Here are things that I eat without guilt, but try to keep a cap on:

Pasta, mostly whole wheat or high protein
Leaner processed meats: turkey bacon, chicken sausage
Canola oil, olive oil
Nuts
Other things in very small amounts (for example, a teaspoon of mustard and mayonnaise sauce on my salmon at dinner)
High protein or fiber snack bars when away from home
A gin and tonic no more often than every other day

Things that I am specifically avoiding:

Breakfast cereal
Cheese
Baked goods

So there it is. I am having Standby Oatmeal and a hard boiled egg for breakfast, lots of protein and veg plus some carbs for lunch, fruit and yogurt and nuts in the afternoon, more protein and veg and carbs for dinner, and cottage cheese plus some fruit or crackers at bedtime. I drink a couple cans of La Croix throughout the day, and drain the quart jar of water beside by bed by morning. I’m a thirsty sleeper.

I hope I keep losing weight.

Weekly weigh-in 4/14/2013

This week’s highest observed weight: 196.6
This week’s lowest observed weight: 195.4
This morning’s weight: 195.6

Overview: I pretty much did Weight Watchers’ old Core program this week, and eased up for a couple of meals this weekend. I deflated quickly and saw 195.4 pretty early in the week. I’m proud that I did well, because my daughter was bothered by SOMETHING (two year molars maybe?) that made her into a screaming, tearful, demanding little energy-drain for most of the week. Happily, she’s feeling better this morning.

Weaknesses: I had a couple of gin and tonics to unwind after full days with my unhappy daughter, on Tuesday and Thursday. I don’t regret it.

Strengths: I’ve been mostly not interested in junk food. Assuring myself that I CAN eat if I’m hungry, that there is no need to tolerate hunger, is comforting.

Plans for the coming week: soldier on. I am 95% sure I’m not pregnant this cycle but it ain’t over till it’s over. We’ll see what happens.