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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

To Paleo or Not to Paleo

I am getting kind of desperate to find some kind of solution for these headaches.  I stayed home yesterday trying to get it under control.  I did, with a muscle relaxant.  In the meantime, I have to look for solutions that prevent them in the first place.  I think posture is a big factor.  I tend to sit at my computer with my shoulders slumped forward and my chin jutting out.  The correct way to sit is with your shoulders back and the chin slightly tucked.   I have been doing some research to see if there is some kind of device to help with this.  As I was sitting here, I started getting that feeling in my throat that comes when something is starting to build.  I decided to put an ice pack on that area to see if I could get it to calm down.  So I had an ice pack wrapped in a towel applied to my throat area while I sat there and typed.  The only way to keep it in place was to tuck my chin and hold it in place that way.  My shoulders were back and my chin was tucked.  This might be an aid.  I could get a medium-sized ball – about the size of an apple – and tuck it under my chin and work to keep it in place.  This kind of encourages me to put my shoulders back and tuck my chin.  It could work, and I could do that fairly inconspicuously at work.  As I sat there that way with the ice pack tucked under my chin, it seemed to be helping a little.  I was feeling it in my shoulders a little, but I think that was because they were already tight and they will have to get accustomed to this.  I think this would be a good “reminder” to keep my chin tucked.
So, I stayed home yesterday.  I had such a headache build Monday afternoon that I was not coping very well.  I hadn’t been taking my muscle relaxants lately, because they make me draggy and it is hard to get myself out of bed to do a workout.  But draggy is better than having a bad headache.  So I will go back to taking them at night and a half one during the day at work.
My eating yesterday was not bad, as far as the amount I ate, but I did not feel like fixing myself anything and nothing nearby sounded good.  I ended up eating a peanut butter sandwich at all 3 meals yesterday, with fruit here and there and a few almonds.  My weight had dropped this morning a little bit, so that was good.
I intended to get a workout done yesterday, even though I didn’t go to work, but it didn’t happen.  I was determined to break the cycle of the headache.  I took a muscle relaxant early on, and it helped but was not knocking it out, so I took another a bit later (my prescription says 1-2 tablets as needed).  This really knocked me out, as you can imagine, and I slept all morning and part of the early afternoon.  I took another one later in the afternoon.  I dozed on and off throughout the day.  It did seem to help.  This morning, I don’t have a headache, but I do feel on the verge of one.  Then the ice on my throat and the action of tucking my chin to hold it in place seemed to be helping.
I am researching the possibility of getting some yoga instruction to come up with a routine that might help.  I need someone who knows what they are doing to show me.  I don’t want to do the wrong thing with my neck, because of the fusion, but I do want to learn what to do to stretch and strengthen wherever it is needed.  I am just looking for answers wherever they can be found.  I don’t want to live like this for the next 20 years.
My lower back was hurting quite a bit late yesterday and early this morning.  It is from sitting too much.  I did not really “feel” up to doing a workout this morning, but I knew I needed one in more ways than one.  So I did one.  I did 35 minutes on the recumbent bike, 5-25-5.  This is five minutes more than last week.  A resistance of 6 felt difficult this morning, so I did most of the middle section at 6.  My back or upper hip on the left side started trying to cramp during the workout and I thought I was going to have to stop, but I kept going.  Sitting around more is not what I needed.  If I wait until I feel good enough to have a workout, I won’t ever get one.  I must push through, even if I am having pain issues.  Of course, I don’t want anything to exacerbate the pain issues, but I knew this was not doing that.  I feel sure that as I get my weight down more and more, the physical issues will improve.  The headache, maybe not, but the back pain, yes.
I decided to go high protein for breakfast this morning and had two slices of bacon and two eggs (7 points).  I had a banana when I got to work.
As I go through the morning, so far so good on not setting off a headache.  I found a little squeezy stress ball on my boss’ desk (that he never uses) and, part of the time, have been keeping it tucked under my chin to remind me.  It is a little smaller than what I need, but it is serving the purpose.  Otherwise, I am just trying to stay conscious of keeping my chin tucked and it seems to be helping.  Old habits die hard.  I had to change glasses because one thing that was making me jut my chin out was I was trying to look through the bottom of my trifocals because I could see my computer screen better that way.  The middle section of my glasses is supposed to be for the computer, but I don’t see well through that part and have a tendency to tilt my head back to see better.  So I changed to my readers while working on the computer to help with that.
Bethany is feeling much better today – like night and day, she said.  I am a firm believer that if you control pain in situations like this, your body is able to fight off the illness faster.  I made sure she kept her pain in check the last couple of nights and it seemed to make all the difference.  Years ago, my husband had the flu and was very sick.  He had gotten so sick that I stayed home from work with him and made sure he took pain medication like clockwork, never letting the pain get out of hand.  He was so sick, he wasn’t in his right mind enough to keep up with it.  It was only then that he started getting better.  Could have both been coincidence, I guess, but I don’t think so.
Lunch today was a Potbelly Farmhouse Salad, no bacon.  I mixed the non-fat vinaigrette with the Potbelly vinaigrette (which made me only use half of the Potbelly vinaigrette).  All this was 11 points.  Still with the low carb theme.
Later, for a snack, I had a peach.  Aw heck, I had two!
I had a bad headache starting mid-afternoon.  I was in the office where Jerry and I work.  I tried something different.  The computer and keyboard sit on top of the desk in there, and my MT told me that was not a good place for your keyboard.  So I put it down on the lap drawer so it was more at a level I need it.  I still came out of there with a headache starting.  I have tried to keep my chin tucked, but I know at times I forgot.  I could also feel the achiness starting in my throat around the surgery area.  I went and got my ice pack out of the refrigerator and put it on my throat for a bit, and the headache is settled back down.
I very much want to go home.  I am sleepy (I’m sure from the muscle relaxant), and my behind is hurting, I think from sitting too much.  I would probably do that again if I went home.  I need to get up and around every few minutes tonight, and I will at least get out and walk Cas later in the evening when it cools off.
My daughter sent me some information on the paleo diet.  Some of the testimonials sound really good.  I will study it and give it some thought.  I am already off sweets, although I know I am still getting sugar in other foods.  It might be an answer to a lot of my pain issues, and possibly even help my headaches.  I may start making some adjustments slowly.  Like eating low carb more often.  They guy who wrote the plan I read said that you should gather up all the stuff in your house that does not fit the diet and give or throw it away.  I don’t think I want to do that, but I can plan on not replacing stuff as I use it up.  For instance dairy products and grains.  I will keep on my WW plan right now, and use up the products I have.  If I really want to go this direction, I will not buy any more, but will start stocking up on what I need to follow this plan.
A couple of things I like about the idea:  I have been reading Holly’s blog, 300 Pounds Down.  Part of her success has been that she knows what foods she absolutely cannot eat.  Sugar is the biggest thing.  She tries to follow the plan of not eating anything that has more than 4 grams of sugar in it.  This is not just sweets.  It could be anything.  She knows if she eats something that has too much sugar in it, it will trigger cravings, even if it was not something we would think of as sweets.  She also knows her trigger foods and she stays away from those.  I have been off sweets for a month now, and it is so much easier already knowing the answer as to whether I will eat something or not.  If it is sweets, I’m not going to eat it.  Most of my cravings are gone and it is not bothering me.  I like the idea of knowing what types of foods I can eat and what I cannot.  And once you get going on it, you lose your cravings for those foods.  I like that.  That sounds a lot more easy to control, to me.  I still have trouble with some carbs.  Like crackers, chips, snacky kinds of things.  Those are things I should stay away from.  I am also not doing very well with peanut butter.  I am eating it often (even if staying in my points allowance), and I am eating a lot of times as a substitute for sweets.  I know on paleo, there are certain kinds of nut butters you can have, but I am sure it is not the commercial peanut butter that has sugar mixed in.
I like the idea of the plan.  I have to make a decision if this is something I want to do.  I want to read about its benefits for people with joint pain, inflammation, etc.  Honestly, with the quality of life I am living, if this would help me feel better, why wouldn’t I want to do it?  I have to get my mind wrapped around that.  It is also good for digestive issues, so I am glad my daughter is doing this.  It may be the key to her issues, both with pain in different parts of her body, and her intestinal issues.
One thing’s for sure.  I would have to give up the SF Red Bulls.  I need to do that anyway, for sure.
I was so sleepy this afternoon and couldn't quit yawning.  I decided to go to an empty office to lay down for a few minutes to see if that would help.  The couch in that office is not very conducive to laying on it comfortably.  I lay down on my side with the pillow supporting my head and neck.  After a bit, my lower back started getting a little uncomfortable.  I lay there a little bit longer, but it kept hurting, so I finally gave up.  I didn't think much about it until I was walking home from work.  I had done something to make my vertebrae clamp down on the nerve, because I had some significant radiating pain down both legs to the knees.  It hurt!  I should have known better than to lay like that.  It goes to show how careful I have to be to keep from setting something off.  Hopefully it will line back up quickly, but it sure made the walk home from work uncomfortable.
Dinner tonight was some pork tenderloin, a baked sweet potato with some cinnamon and some grilled asparagus.  For once, I cooked the pork tenderloin correctly.  It was just done and was very juicy.  I had sprinkled salt, chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika and garlic powder on it pretty liberally, hoping it would season it enough without marinating.  It did, and it was very good.  This was actually a good paleo meal.  After dinner, I had a few grapes.  My cravings are in pretty good shape right now.  Knock on wood.
I'm not planning on doing much tonight except a little cleaning, walk Cas in a little bit, and icing my neck some.  I'm feeling better, but not great.
Have a great day, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you are feeling better! I have a desk job too and I try to get up from it and walk around every 30 minutes, even if I am in the middle of something - seems to help!

    There are so many Paleo websites out there - the only problem I had going Paleo is that it is really hard to eat it if you eat out a lot other than just salads with meat on them. It seemed to be twice the amount of planning for regular food, but everyone is different! :D


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