I am Interested in Beets.

I’ve only had them once or twice, and I don’t think I liked them, but the concept of a vegetable that can be eaten in both sweet an savory dishes, and one that can literally dye your insides, intrigues me.  I’ll probably try to find something to do with beets in the near future.

Tonight, we made “mashed cauliflower,” an old Weight Watchers trick that the paleo folks have resurrected as a substitute for mashed potatoes.  I was nonplussed…they definitely don’t taste enough like mashed potatoes to fool you, but they weren’t horrible once we added some Irish butter, sour cream, and cheddar cheese.  I don’t know if I’ll do it again, but it was a good low-carb side dish to the teriyaki marinated chicken breasts that Joey baked for us.

I’ve made it to the ninth lifestyle change in my book on adrenal fatigue…here are my thoughts thus far:

  • although I know it’s best to do, I’m always amazed at how much better I feel when we’re eating whole, real foods and not processed/packaged/takeout stuff.
  • I SUCK at sleeping 8 hours.  Being in bed by 9:30 seems like a punishment.  I’m not sure how I’m going to make peace with that.
  • I’m upset by the author’s flippancy toward antidepressants.  She lumps them in a chapter together with caffeine, sugar and–no, I’m not kidding–COCAINE.  Seriously.  I find it funny that she qualifies her passage on the benefits of upping one’s salt intake with the typical safety statement:  “please follow doctor’s instructions if you have been advised to limit your sodium intake.”  But when it comes to antidepressants, she recommends weaning off of them across the board, without any kind of medical qualifying statement or “follow your doctor’s instruction” safety net.  It’s irresponsible.  For those of us who have an actual issue with brain chemistry, meditating and sleeping just ain’t gonna cut it.

I had Joey go out and buy some of this stuff for me, per the author’s recommendation:

I took two this evening.  We’ll see how they work.

My Adrenals are Worn Out and Dried Up…

I really don’t know whether to be hopeful that the second half of the year will be better than the first or not.  After two months of the severe mood swings and general depression/hopelessness, I’m starting to fee at home being in a funk.  At this point, I’m not sure I’d even know what to do if I did feel normal.  One of the girls I work with last week commented that she couldn’t believe that I was feeling the way I am.  I asked her what she expected me to do?  It’s not like I can cease to function at my job…I’ve got to keep doing a good job at work.  It’s not like the world is going to quit spinning on my account.  I tried to explain to her how I do my best to get through the workday and then I’m basically nonfunctional once I get home.  It mystified her.  I guess that’s a good thing.

Anyway, I’ve been reading Tired of Being Tired, a book about adrenal fatigue and burnout (Amazon Link–not an affiliate link).  According to their test, I’m at the point of “losing it,” which is just a category away from burnout.  After you assess your own level of burnout, the author (an MD) offers ten lifestyle changes that will help your adrenal glands recover and function normally again.  Her theory is that our increasingly fast-paced lifestyles take a toll on our adrenal glands that, historically, would have been limited to immediate physical threat (read:  being chased by a large predator).  While I’m usually leery of “Lose Weight and Feel GREAT” books, this one caught my eye because part of my anxiety diagnosis is PTSD and the fact that I’m constantly functioning in fight-or-flight mode.  My adrenals have been totally shot for quite some time, and while I’m a huge fan of prescription treatment for mental health issues, I also look for every holistic and natural method to help the meds do their job.

Nothing that I’ve read thus far as been earth-shattering; I do think it’s interesting that the author promotes a low-carbohydrate diet.  While she doesn’t promote a paleo- or primal-type diet, she does recommend that those at the highest levels of adrenal fatigue/burnout stick right around 65 grams of carbs per day (three meals and 2-3 snacks).  Surprisingly, she also recommends that those at highest level of burnout not engage in any incredibly strenuous exercise program (so, my plans to start Insanity again are on hold for a little while), but to engage in moderate activity every day.  In light of that, I’m going to develop a routine on the Wii that matches her recommendations and stick with that every day.

The toughest parts?  8 hours of sleep and giving up caffeine:(.  I really suck at getting enough sleep.  It is what it is.  I don’t like going to bed (mostly because, these days, I just really don’t want it to be “tomorrow,” and I seem to have this twisted belief that, if I stay up as late as possible, then it’ll stay “today”), but I have to get up at 5:30 every day, to head into an extremely high-stress environment, for which I really should have had a full night’s sleep.  So, bleh.  And I love my caffeine:(…at least she says that I shouldn’t go cold-turkey and can wean down.

Anyway, I’ll keep updating you about what I’m learning and how it’s going.  I did manage to make a meal plan for the week and we got some groceries today (Joey’ll have to get the rest tomorrow), so this week will be much better in terms of real, balanced meals.  I’ll let you know about the rest.

Also, please send prayers and good thoughts out for my friend Phil.  He was supposed to have surgery to remove the cancer (on the pancreas) this past Thursday, but a pre-op CAT scan revealed some changes and now they’re not exactly sure how they’re going to be able to tackle the treatment/surgery.  He means so much to me…he changed my life seven years ago, and I don’t know where I’d be without him.

Phil’s on my right.  I totally stole this picture from my church’s website, and when I went back today to find it so I could link to the source, they’ve started updating the website and I can’t find it anymore, so if you visit FBCIT.org and find some pictures, it’ll probably be in there somewhere.