You ask, “What diet are you on?” #fitness #health #food

Several local friends and acquaintances have asked me about my diet. I’m pleased that others have noticed a positive physical change in my appearance and, yes, the food I eat has much to do with me looking and feeling healthier than I have in years. 

I’m not on a diet, per se. How I eat doesn’t have a name. Yet there are some principles that I can share with you that have worked for me.

Log food. I use MyFitnessPal (MFP) and invite you to join me. My diary is open if you are interested in what my meals and snacks look like. Logging food is very eye-opening. Within two months I figured out that I was likely lactose intolerant, couldn’t have too many carbohydrates at one time, and that animal fat didn’t like me.

Get tested. I had chronic digestive upset, episodes of severe incapacitation, and much fatigue, so I went to my doctor and had a complete physical to include blood work and an ultrasound of my gut. I was told there was nothing wrong.

Be persistent. But there was something wrong. Since I guessed that food had something to do with it, I went to a Naturopathic Doctor (ND.) Again, I was tested through extensive blood work. For me there was good news. I wasn’t allergic to any food. The bad news was that my gut wasn’t working properly and I was protein deficient.

Let it go. My ND recommended that I remove dairy, gluten, and egg from my diet. Plus, I needed to increase my protein intake dramatically while keeping animal fat low. For many years I had been able to enjoy cheese, pasta, and over-easy eggs but I needed to say goodbye to these old friends. Now I have new friends

Embrace your macronutrient self. To get this all to balance, I figured out that I needed to eat 40:30:30 (Zone Diet ratio). Translation: 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, 30% fat. The standard American diet recommendation is 50:30:20. High carb (for runners) is 60:25:15 while low carb is 25:45:30. My best guess is that each of us can find health and happiness when we find our right place on this continuum. Here’s a macronutrient calculator to help.

Slow and steady. Real change doesn’t happen over night. It took months for me to figure out some of my challenges, and I still face more. It took months to implement what I was learning, and I’m still learning .

Accountability and networking. I need my ND, chiropractor, family, and MFPals, for support. So much of this work is lonely, alone work. I need community to keep me honest and motivated. I learn so much from those on vegan, paleo, celiac, allergy-free, Zone, whole food, running, and other diets.

All in. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired! On Thanksgiving 2013, something snapped. I saw myself going down a sick and tired spiral which was only worsening. So I started to run. When my neck and back ached, I went to the chiropractor. Then I started logging my food. In other words, one thing lead to the next because, to the best of my ability I was doggedly determined to feel healthier. Results come slowly when I’m all in. This would be just too painful to do half-way.

Start now. I’m so grateful that I started when I did. I’m 1.5 years into this process and couldn’t be happier. It all started with one step, one real act, one behavior.

Failure? Who cares. Some days suck. I fail every day at this. And I don’t care. I just keep going.

Objective results. I ran the 2 mile Turkey Trot Thanksgiving 2014. I lost 20 pounds. I dropped a size. I have more energy. I sleep better. I ran an 8K. Positive, measurable results are real, tangible, and highly motivating.

Ongoing motivation. My youngest son will turn 10 soon and my grandson is almost 1. I want to be here for them long-term. My motivation is to be pleasing to God who created this mysterious and life-giving body of mine; to love my husband, family, friends, and neighbors with energy and generosity; and to be alive, to thrive. To be whole.

What is your relationship to food? What motivates you to do your best? Feel free to ask me questions related to this topic. I’m glad to share what I’ve learned. 

Thanks for asking and have a terrific weekend ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc

27 thoughts on “You ask, “What diet are you on?” #fitness #health #food

  1. Oh, thank goodness. I read the first bolded words and thought “well, how many foods even come in log-like shapes? Some cakes, I guess, and maybe a meatloaf, but that’s not enough for a whole diet. Maybe slabs of institutional-purpose Velveeta”.

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  2. I got diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis a few months after I quit smoking. My immune system was busy fighting Nicotine and other chemicals for 35 years, then it got bored and decided to attack me. Autoimmune disorders are a pain in the behind. I started researching as well, didn’t want to be heavy medicated. I watched a movie called “fat, sick and nearly dying”, even though I didn’t like the title. Then I watched another one called “fork over knives”. Both the biggest eyeopener ever. I started juicing for 10 days, went on for 18 straight days. I felt like a Million bucks, then I added food back into my daily diet. Reacted badly to cheese, bread, flour and eggs. Had to scratch diary all long, eat gluten free. There are days when I don’t feel too hot, but overall I feel great. My next doctors appointment is in June and I am curious to see my blood work. Sorry for the Novel. Well done Lady, well done!

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    • I’m privileged to receive your “novel”, Bridget! WOW, you have worked hard, sista! I’ll add your movies to my summer watch list (we’re all about spring baseball now) and I’m just so impressed by how you figured out your food needs. Let’s stick together on this! Are you on MFP? Do you blog about your health and fitness? Have a terrific weekend and…Well done Lady(bug), well done!

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      • No I am not on MFP, I made my own food journal. Not so much based on calories, carbs and protein, but based on my daily pain level. A friend made me watch “fat, sick and nearly dying”, I didn’t like the title, didn’t want to watch it, but I am glad I did. No I have a cooking blog, still love to cook normal…just can’t eat it.

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      • I really should start my own food journal…health journal, that is a place for all the the variables floating around. I’m sorry that you are in pain and am impressed that you have turned it into t tool to know your body better. I’m learning how to “read” my gut. I’m getting better at it. I couldn’t find your cooking blog at your other blog so if you send me the link I’ll be happy to check it out. I still love to cook and still cook normal for some of my family, although some of them are joining me on my bandwagon 😀

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      • https://mywitchkitchen.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/its-like-a-tattoo-on-my-forehead/
        I am learning all about my “leaky gut” because that’s where the problem is. I couldn’t find too much here in the US, but got lots of information in Europe. I am not in pain, but wait when I eat an egg :-). I could eat for 50 years whatever I wanted, now I can’t. There isn’t really anything that I haven’t had, so it’s really no big deal. Giving up dairy, well that was tough, I have to admit. Vegan cheese is just not cheese 🙂

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  3. I must say, Angie McFly, this new eating style definitely does agree with you. The photo above is stunning, absolutely. My glowing friend Angie McFly with her two boys. Way to go. ❤

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  4. You look healthy and happy. that’s what matters. I have a good healthy relationship with food. I especially love exploring new recipes using vegetables. I’ve discovered the world of Ottolenghi and my meals have never been happier.

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  5. Very good post. My wife is recovering from an eating disorder, so being part of her recovery has given me some different insights from her nutritionist and therapist.

    First – we never keep a scale in the house. Looking at an eating disorder from a mental health perspective, weight can be a negative label. So therefor we do not use it as a measurement of success. There are so many other ways you can positively measure progress. This is about making healthy choices but more importantly promoting positive body image and being happy in your own skin.

    Second – my wife never “diets.” Diets have such negative connotations and are easily broken. Instead we have a meal plan that focuses on healthy eating habits, balanced portions and proper amounts of specific food groups. By understand what fuels our bodies, we can make appropriate choices and accept the consequences when we don’t.

    No matter what, as long as you are happy and healthy then whatever works, continue on with it! The most critical thing is to love yourself for who you are.

    Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Vic, thank you for this important contribution. You and your wife make a great team. I have an extended family member who has faced an eating disorder, so my heart is with you and your wife.

      I, too, prefer not to use the word “diet” but realize that those who ask are just wondering how I got from point A to point B. They mainly see my weight loss and assume I went on a diet. But I see it differently. For me it’s more akin to dealing with a medical condition. My lifestyle radically changed. Do you and your wife see it this way too?

      Happy and healthy are such good friends! And you are so right. There is plenty of love for me, for you, for all as we are 😀

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      • We view her eating disorder from a metal health perspective. So what we do is about changing destructive behavior to positive. By first addressing the mental health aspects, we can then successfully address the physical issues that come with having an ED.

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      • You explain this very well. You are dealing with layers and prioritizing. That’s why, for example, the word “diet” just doesn’t fit. Keep up the good work and I’m inspired by your family’s commitment to each other ❤

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  6. That is so great! Good for you for taking charge of your health and your life! I’m so glad to hear all your hard work has and is paying off. It looks like you have plenty of cheerleaders (me included) if you ever need it 🙂 I’ve tried logging my food intake and it is scccaarrrryyyy! ha

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    • Thanks, Ness! For a long time it felt like the target kept moving. I’m just very grateful to be feeling better. I still have rough spots but nothing like I was dealing with before. Grateful!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great job, Angie! Lookin’ good, gal!
    Will check out MyFitnessPal. I need to get myself disciplined with what I eat. I have celiac sensitivity, so I’m supposed to stay with gluten free foods. But oh, it’s tough! I LOVE regular bread! Not rocky, hard, and dry gluten-free bread! And I know what you mean about being tired. It never fails that I’ll immediately conk out as soon as I eat a bowl of regular cereal (non-gluten free). It’ll just make me get all dizzy and I can’t help myself, but fall asleep. Or be sleep walkin’ if I’m somewhere where I can’t lay down to take an immediate nap. It’s crazy. Thanks for your helpful tips!

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    • Oh, In, I know that dizzy zonked out feeling that I get from too many carbs and/or gluten. I do miss bread and don’t bother to substitute gluten-free bread very often (except for hamburger buns!) It will be fun to connect at MFP and I’m glad to connect at your blog too 🙂

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  8. Reblogged this on Angie Mc Now and commented:

    Answering questions about well-being is one of my favorite ways to connect and share. “How did you lose weight?” and “How have you kept the weight off?” keep people curious!

    This blog post from Spring 2015 stands true today with just a few updates. I no longer log my food intake daily because I learned so much from doing so that portion control and variety have become second-nature to me. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. I still recommend logging at first to learn and to grow a community.

    I’ve increased my tolerance for carbohydrates so no need for me to follow a strict 40:30:30 macronutrient approach. It’s still super helpful to include protein, carbs, and healthy fats at each meal.

    Also, I focus on vegetables, vegetables, and more vegetables to include juicing. There’s always something new to keep well-being goals hopeful and exciting.

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