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Nutritionally nerdy

24 Jan

A few weeks before Christmas, Hub and I went to a lecture given by a nutritionist who works in the same organization as T. I saw the announcement for the lecture in email, but then T also sent me an email saying, “this is really cool! I’ve been doing some research on this…” because the lecture was about the “second brain” in your gut. The gut-brain connection, basically. It was a topic T and I had spoken about briefly, and something that I had already done a little research on myself.

We attended the lecture, which had a very small audience–like six or seven people–and had a chance to meet with and hear from the nutritionist. Who told us multiple times that she was “nerding out” over what she was talking about. I found her information really interesting but a lot of it I’d already read about or heard before. Hub hadn’t, but I had. What was almost as interesting was the conversation we had with the nutritionist after her lecture was over. She had brought some drinks and food for us to taste that was supposed to be good for our gut. I tried a few things, and amusingly enough so did Hub after the nutritionist kind of challenged him to do so.

In the end, we took some of the nutritionist’s advice, including changing from drinking low-fat milk to whole milk (because low-fat milk is more processed and has more sugar)…organic milk even. Then we started a regimen of drinking Kefir every day, made again from organic whole milk, in order to get more good bacteria into our gut and colon. We had tried Kefir before but the brand that the nutritionist brought to the lecture for us to try was actually really good, so I make a special trip to a local organic market to buy it every two weeks or so. We made these couple of small changes after the lecture, and then Hub decided he wanted to go see the nutritionist for an individual appointment to see how she could further help our health. With his diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and my gluten and stomach issues, we have been looking for better ways to eat healthier. Part of the problem, though, is that Hub does not eat a big variety of vegetables, but the nutritionist assured us that she was up for the challenge we were presenting as a couple.

We met with her, J,  last week for just over an hour. I think she was encouraged that we were able to make some changes already just based on her lecture. Most of the appointment was taken up with history and getting-to-know you information. I will note, though, that she has a really good sense of humor and seemed able to take Hub’s jokes in stride. Part way through the appointment I was telling her that we tried to eat an avocado–which neither of us really likes–in order to figure out how to get it into our diet since it’s a really good “fat”. I had asked the vegetable and fruit guy at the store to help me pick one, then we went home and cut it and tried to eat it plain. It was bad,  ya’ll. It tasted like…well, Hub said it tasted like a hardboiled egg that had gone bad. I’m not sure it was all that, but it wasn’t good. So in a weird twist of fate, J actually had brought a second sandwich in to work that day (I get hungry, so some days I pack TWO  lunches she tells us…Miss J who can’t weight more than 100lbs soaking wet) that had avocado slices, cucumbers, and mayonnaise. And lucky me (I actually knew about this ahead of time because I had stalked her on twitter before our appointment), J keeps a gluten free home, so the “sandwich” was on gluten free bread and made in a gluten free kitchen. She handed me half her sandwich and said, “Try this!” It was actually pretty good, but we have no idea why HER avocado was okay and ours was so gross. But I promised we’d try the avocado again.

And for the record, she’s asked me to start eating breakfast (yay I say sarcastically) because she thinks it might help with my fatigue; she’s asked us to try to cut back red meat to once (or twice) a week (although we don’t always eat red meat every week, it just depends); she asked Hub to cut back on his juice drinks and try liquid stevia instead of powdered; she asked us to try getting more dairy that is hormone free (since we both eat cheese and yogurt and milk). Then she asked us to check back in with her when we feel that these changes have become routine rather than something we “have” to do. And that we’d take things step-by-step, little bits at a time. She said she likes to “meet people where they are” and encourage small changes at a time. And in the meantime, she’s working on more food plans for us, with the hopes that Hub can find some more foods he can eat that are healthier but also actually doable for him.

I asked J what I could eat for breakfast that would be quick and easy and protein-full, because that was her suggestion to keep me full and energized. Mostly she suggested Greek yogurt, but she wanted me to get organic and whole milk again. She suggested a brand–the same as the Kefir we enjoy–and said I might want to try making my own granola again to put on the yogurt. We bought a couple of different versions of the yogurt she suggested and so far…blech. I’ve got a container of the vanilla flavored version that is passable, and I DID make my granola again, but I can’t say I love eating breakfast. I don’t feel like my stomach is awake and most things make me feel BLEH that early in the morning. I was NEVER a breakfast eater. I don’t like breakfast foods. I don’t like eating early in the morning. And these days, I don’t like trying to fit the food into my morning routine because I’ve been on the go so much these past weeks. BUT I AM TRYING.

I’m not sure how much Hub is trying his stuff. We are looking to eat less red meat, so that’s on our radar. We’re hoping J has more suggestions for dinners because we’re going to get tired of eating fish, especially since neither of us is incredibly fond of fish.

Oh, and yeah, she asked for copies of our recent blood work. She said she just loves to see how the blood work results work in tandem with each rather than how the doctors looks at the results for each individual test independently. She said she just “nerds out” over blood work. She’s a nice lady but she’s kinda weird. Of course, I’d be interested to see if she makes anything of our blood work, but then again, I’m kinda weird, too.

That’s our nutrition journey at the moment. Good times.

 

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6 responses to “Nutritionally nerdy

  1. joey

    January 24, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Kinda neat. I like the idea that a lot of anxiety can be reduced by good gut. Show me a really healthy, high-immunity person with anxiety and I’ll show you a unicorn. A lot of us were sickly kids who ended up labeled with an AID.
    I definitely think diet has a lot to do with my own anxiety.
    I’ve been on the whole organic milk kick for 5-6 years now. Probiotics for 2. High plant intake pretty much all my life. (I’d say college was a low point there…)
    I hope this does alter your husband’s blood work — I hope she totally gets to nerd out.
    Avocado takes a long time to ripen. I buy them in shifts, like pears and kiwi, because there’s that split second between ripe and rotten. You want the avocado to feel a lot like a ripe pear or kiwi before you cut it.
    I’m not a fan of Kefir, but I sometimes drink it when I take antibiotics. Would you mind to tell me what brand she suggested?

     
    • meANXIETYme

      January 24, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      I know that when my stomach is upset I get anxiety. It seems like it should be the other way around, but somehow it’s backwards for me. Supposedly there’s a “second brain” in our gut that talks directly to the brain in our head, but that connection does not go in reverse (from the brain to the gut). The nerd, I mean the nutritionist, says all of this research is very new and most scientists/biologists don’t believe it because it IS so new.
      I don’t drink a ton of milk anymore, but I do each yogurt and I do eat cheese. I’m not great with plant “intake” but I do try. We eat a lot of chicken and turkey, we try to eat fish as often as we can. I like salads, I like veggies and mushrooms are YUM for me. And I like lots of beans. Hub doesn’t really like too many veggies, won’t go near a mushroom, and unless the beans are in chilli, it’s a no-go. LOL
      It’ll be difficult for me to judge an avocado based on pears and kiwi because I like my pears midway between hard and soft, and I don’t eat kiwis. 🙂 But as soon as we bust out of show-jail, we’re going to try avocados again.
      As for Kefir, we ended up really like WALLABY brand. It’s organic and no hormones, and the one we get is the whole milk version. I like the strawberry and the peach a lot. Although I LOVE cherry (pretty much any kind of cherry product), I did not find the cherry flavor to have much cherry flavor. They have a “plain” flavor but we didn’t try it. We have to go to Whole Foods or our local organic market to find the Wallaby brand. Our local grocery that we shop at only carries something called LIFEWAY and it’s HORRIBLE.

       
      • joey

        January 24, 2016 at 5:53 pm

        I see. It must be difficult to deal with all those restrictions, but then, you’re probably used to his preferences.
        The pear comparison would be right — between hard and soft, just a bit softer than harder 🙂
        They DO have that Wallaby Kefir here at Whole Foods, so I will check out the peach and strawberry. Thanks!

         
      • meANXIETYme

        January 24, 2016 at 6:55 pm

        A) yes, I’m used to his restrictions and B) I eat the stuff I like anyway. 🙂 I just tend to eat the stuff I like either at lunch when he’s not around (or if we’re making our own lunches when we’re together) or when we are having leftovers for dinner.
        He cooks a lot of our dinners, so we tend to eat toward his preferences. Then again, if there’s something I want to add to my food that he doesn’t eat, I just make it and eat it anyway. He does the same. It’s a lot easier when it’s only two of us to feed and not a whole passel of us to figure out food for. 😉
        I’ll keep in mind that pear comparison. This week we’re trying a different market that supposedly has REALLY good and inexpensive produce. So we’ll see!
        Let me know if you get a chance to try the Wallaby Kefir. To me it tastes pretty much like a yogurt smoothie without having to mix one up myself. It’s smooth and creamy and fruity…and sweet enough for me to not think it’s Kefir! LOL

         
      • joey

        January 24, 2016 at 8:39 pm

        I’m kinda excited about it! I just talked to my mama about it, and she’s gonna look for it, too.
        I have no doubt you’re right about it being easier without a whole passel of you! lol — sometimes when it’s just us for lunch, everything is SO EASY! haha!
        I forget what our new expensive fabulous market is called, but it is expensive and fabulous. I think something with Thyme in the title…I rarely go, though. I really dislike going all the places all the time, let alone paying more. You know how it goes with me.

         
      • meANXIETYme

        January 24, 2016 at 9:06 pm

        I hope you guys like the Kefir. The first time we bought Kefir (that Lifeway crap) I was so disappointed. It was chalky and bland and gross. The Wallaby was just so nice and flavorful and thick. We bought the whole milk version. The worst part is that it’s so thick that we always feel like we can’t get all of the stuff out of the bottom of the glass and we hate wasting any of it. LOL
        We have these little organic markets around called MOMs. I’ve been able to find all the flavors in good stock there. Whole Foods is hit or miss with their stock sometimes.
        I stop off at either WF or the MOMs when I’m on my way home from seeing T. But it’s always in the middle of the day when there are only old hippies in the store with me. LOL
        The drawback to the Wallaby Kefir (and the organic markets) is the price. But we only chug “shots” of the kefir (small glasses) once a day so we can make it last longer.

         

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