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I haven’t been here in a while and that is my fault. It’s not that I don’t have time to write, I have too many ideas. I could actually sit down and write about 20 blog posts but every time I try, I just get overwhelmed. I have no organization skills when it comes to my thoughts and for that, I apologize.

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to blog a little more regularly. Honestly, I have made the same resolution for five year’s to no avail. I’m just bad at it. But I’m trying to be better.

Another resolution was to also get healthier this year. I’ve talked before about how I started running and was watching my diet in a concerted effort to prevent illness more than anything. But I’ve found some other benefits in eating healthy.

Back in January, the best boss ever, convinced me to try a diet with her that several friends had had really good results with. It’s the 4 Hour Body Diet.

It’s basically a play on the Paleo diet which cuts all refined carbs, grains, beans, sugar, some dairy, soy, gluten, etc., etc. Basically, a very restrictive diet I wasn’t really interested in. But I’m a good friend so I bought the book, read it and decided I’d try it out for a couple of weeks and see how I’d do.

The 4 Hour Body diet is a bit different from the Paleo diet in that you can eat beans but not fruit. I’m not a big fruit eater so that wasn’t a stretch for me. I’ve found out by accident that I’m kind of lactose intolerant. Sometimes milk bugs me, like if I drink a glass or a latte, but in small quantities, such as a tablespoon in my coffee or tea or hard cheeses are usually okay. So giving up dairy was no biggie either. I also discovered by accident that soy and I don’t get along so well either so cutting all soy products was already a done deal. (BTW, unfermented soy products such as tofu and soy milk are known to cause digestive issues. Most people don’t tolerate them well. And soy is a phyto-estrogen and can interfere with hormones. It’s just bad so you probably shouldn’t be eating it. And beware of protein bars, most of them are made with soy proteins.) But giving up gluten and refined grains were going to be an issue. I live on pastas, breads, rice, oatmeal. I mean, gluten is my friend. Or so I thought.

You see, I used to be a smoker. A bad smoker. A two pack a day smoker. Until almost 4 years ago. Now I know you’re probably wondering what this has to do with gluten, but it has everything to do with it. I also have really bad allergies. The kind where I would get up in the morning and hack up half a lung and blow my nose fifty times. I would sniffle and cough pretty much all day long regardless of what kind of pills I took. I just chalked it up to the smoking. But except for a brief fall off the wagon almost 3 years ago at my high school reunion (I had only been smoke free about 8 months at the time) I really was wondering if the smoking wasn’t the issue. I was still waking up to the hacking cough and chest congestion everyday. Until I gave up gluten.

For the first time in years, I can breathe again. Through my nose, through my mouth. I wake up in the morning, I can breathe and not cough up a lung. It’s actually quite nice. Makes me kinda mad I’ve spent so much money on allergy pills when all I really needed to do was quit eating bread and pasta. Oh, I still eat bread but I eat rice bread now that I make every couple of days. It has the consistency of corn bread but it’s pretty filling and does the job when I want a sandwich of I’ve just run and need a snack. (It’s really good with almond butter and natural, no sugar added preserves.)

And as much as I think that having a great reduction in congestion is awesome, the really awesome thing is that I’ve managed to lose 17 pounds in the last 12 weeks. Without really too much effort. I’ve cut all the processed junk stuff like sugar and most things from the middle of the store. I try to cook lots of veggies, meat and if I want a pasta, I just use a rice flour based pasta instead of wheat. I can hardly tell the difference. Because I run, I’ve had to add back some kind of simple carb option because I was getting headaches. I opted for brown rice products.  I still occasionally do eat things  with gluten in them, sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident, and I regret it the next day since not only do I get all congested, but it makes me feel hung over as well. I haven’t had too many issues eating out either since most places do have some kind of gluten friendly options on their menu.

So far my resolution to get healthier this year is working. I’m smaller than I’ve been in about 3 years. I’m fitting in clothes I haven’t been able to wear in about 4 years. I can run 3 miles without passing out (okay sometimes I want to throw up but I’m not dying). And I feel great. I’ve found a dietary life style change I can live with and I find if I stop trying so hard and stressing over it, the weight comes off. With no gimmicks. And although it’s not coming off super fast, I feel good about how it is coming off. I can maintain this slow and steady pace. And hopefully run a few races along the way as well.

Have a great day!!

One of the recipes I use every couple of days or so is making my own rice bread. This recipe makes a small 8 inch round thin loaf. It’s about the texture and crumb of corn bread. I eat it with eggs, split open for a sandwich, or as my rice side for dinner. It’s pretty versatile.

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 7/8 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Soak the rice in the water overnight. In the morning, put rice and water in blender. Blend for 5 minutes or until rice is about really wet sand consistency. Add egg, baking powder, and salt to blender. Blend to combine. Pour into greased 8 inch pan or iron skillet. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minute then remove from pan. This recipe makes 4 servings. (I keep this in a ziploc bag in the fridge and heat it up in my toaster oven)