Saturday, January 11, 2014

The D Word

Wanna hear something crazy?  My 2 year old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes last month.  Good.  Freaking.  Times.  I wrote about her diagnosis here (be prepared though, it's a long one).  As luck would have it, I had actually spent the 3-4 months leading up to that focusing intensely on balancing macro nutrients.  To the point that I met with a nutrition guru once a week for 8 weeks.  Granted, at the time that I started down this path it was for the sake of changing my own body composition (which I totally did - booyah!!!).  But sometimes I can't help but think that maybe the timing of my interest in the whole macro nutrient thing was part of a bigger plan.  I don't know for sure, but it feels weird to call it a coincidence.  Just sayin.
I regularly find her on the couch giving her teddy bear injections.  Tis hilarious.  

I won't go into detail regarding the ins and outs of living with an insulin dependent 2 year old, but take my word for it, it's C.O.M.P.L.I.C.A.T.E.D.  I have to calculate how much insulin she needs to be able to utilize every morsel of food she puts in her mouth.  And let's not even talk about what happens when she decides to feed half her dinner to the dog without me noticing. Gah!  In the hospital they teach you that diabetic children can "eat whatever they want" as long as they get an insulin injection for it.  That approach has bothered me from day one (of course, because there's nothing I love more than to challenge traditional medicine).  Nobody should eat whatever they want whether they are diabetic or not.  She needed to be fed in a way that would maximize her nutrient intake and minimize her insulin needs.  So, after we got home and started figuring everything out, I began the process of calculating the macros in the recipes I had that I felt would be the most beneficial to her.  I took me an hour to do one single recipe.  This was going to be a painful process.  And then?  I somehow stumbled onto the COOLEST tool on the Internet!  Instead of spending hours using your calculator to come up with some sort of nutrient estimate that may or may not be correct, you can simply just type in the ingredients and then the program kicks out a nutrition label for you.  For example, I entered my favorite granola recipe and got this in return...
Now, keep in mind that the program calculates the entire recipe.  So you have to take the totals and divide them by the number of servings the recipe makes.  Not too shabby, eh?  You can find this program here.  If you've always been interested in the nutrient content of your recipes but have never wanted to take the time to figure it out, give this program a whirl.  It's awesome and user friendly and from what I can tell, idiot proof (if I can do it, anyone can).  And it's free!

Anyway, diabetes aside, I've been wanting to do a post about my most recent diet adjustments and some of the killer products I've been turned on to.  As most of you know, about 9 months ago I decided to end my vegetarian/vegan phase and get reacquainted with higher amounts of protein.  I wouldn't necessarily call it paleo.  Actually, I wouldn't call it paleo at all.  It was more or less just adding back in some lean organic protein and cutting back (way back) on the grains.  Because really, grains are just converted to sugar inside the body (I know that can be debated, but I'm a simple minded gal), and I felt like they were sabotaging my "clean" diet.  Okay, I'm going to be really honest with you here so that maybe this will make more sense.  When I decided to add lean proteins back into my diet it was for health/nutrition reasons.  But over the months that followed, I noticed that I was shedding body fat.  It wasn't necessarily intentional, but I definitely noticed that my clothes were fitting better.  So of course, being me, I had to investigate.  Enter awesome brilliant nutrition/fitness guru who changed my life.  Seriously.  She is so outrageously amazing.  She helped me realize that I could take the pieces of the nutrition puzzle, if you will, and rearrange them in a way that would shift my body composition in my desired direction.  Like, big time.  For me, it was all about slightly decreasing my % of body fat, while greatly increasing my % of muscle mass (another highly debatable topic).  Now, in full disclosure, I have to tell you that she also had me change my workout routine dramatically.  I won't get into it right now, but at some point I will tell you about my love affair with lifting weights.  The heavy kind.  It is a rather steamy tale.  However, when we talk about body composition, we have to remember that you can't out exercise a bad diet.  Period.  I firmly believe that having a tight toned bod really is 80% diet and 20% exercise (the type of exercise makes or breaks that 20% mind you).  So, I'm convinced that the diet changes are what made the biggest difference for me.  At my last check point my body fat had gone down 4% and I had gained 2.5 lbs of muscle (those numbers seem small but believe me, they have made a HUGE difference).  My final check is on Monday and I'm excited to see how everything turns out.  What's crazy is that I've actually gained weight.  Yep, that's right.  The numbers on the scale have gone up.  And I couldn't be more thrilled.  I love watching those numbers climb knowing my increase in lean tissue is the culprit.  It's extremely empowering to know that I'm in the best shape of my life.  I realize that this blog isn't necessarily intended to be fitness or image oriented, and for the record, I also realize that there are many other important things to focus your time and energy on in life.  Balance is so key.  I can't stress that enough.  But I needed this intense journey.  I've been pregnant, nursing, or preparing to become pregnant again for 12 years.  And I've loved it.  Kind of.  Okay, not really.  But what matters is that I knew that phase of my life was over.  I also knew that I'd be a happier, more productive, more content person in every aspect of my life if I could get my body back to where I felt completely at peace with it.  I have done that and it couldn't have come at a more perfect time.  Ironically, I've been able to use what I've learned about protein/carb ratios over the past several months to keep from having to inject my daughter with massive doses of insulin.  I'm all about multi-tasking.

I'd really love to get more into the whole macronutrient/workout routine/body composition thing, but I'm not sure this is the right platform for it.  Feel free to comment on whether or not this is something you'd be interested in reading about.  Seriously, I have no idea who, if anyone, even reads this blog anymore.                

5 comments:

Haley Jolley said...

Hey, I'm very interested in hearing more details about... everything you just talked about! I've been stalking your blog for quite a while and love learning more from you. I love your advice, wisdom, motivation, and recipes, and you're pretty awesome writers which has made me keep coming back for years. Keep writing when you can, you can at least bet on one person reading it! :) Thanks!

Annie said...

Thanks Haley! I'll definitely write about some of the things I've learned over the past few months. Even if it's only you who reads it; )

Elizabeth said...

Annie, you're back! You and your -3% body fat are back! Hoooorrraayyy!

jen said...

I check your blog all the time. Totally interested!

Sarah said...

Hey Annie, Great post! Nice to see some new posts recently. I've missed you guys. I would also love an additional post with more information. You had my full attention right when you said you had changed your whole body composition. I am a firm believer in the philosophy that you can't out exercise a bad diet. And I LOVE what heavy lifting does for my body... though this a good motivation for me, I haven't been lifting that heavy for a couple of years. Great reminder!