"...what a person accomplishes in life is directly correlated with the people around them." - John Berardi

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Weekly Challenge: Symptom Tracking

And another week just flew by! How has the week of finances and budgeting gone? Were you able to create a budget or perhaps start a Debt Snowball? Maybe you're upping your game in saving for retirement or working on other avenues of building wealth. I'd love to hear about it!

I've been more diligent this week in categorizing our transactions in mint.com to see how our budget is doing so far this month. It is such a fantastic accountability and budget management tool, that requires minimal effort. I'm really trying to stay in my grocery budget this month... :) It's those items that you only buy every few months that seem to run out at the same that tend to catch me off guard in our grocery budget (toilet paper, supplements, shampoo, etc.). We may be eating all of the veggies from the freezer by the end of next week to do it, but I think we can make it!

I hope you'll continue to work on and evaluate your finances at least once a month, so you can enjoy the peace and possibilities that are attainable with a good financial plan. The more you do it, the easier it gets, as well as the conversations that go along with financial management.

On to a new challenge!

If you've been following me at all the last month, you'll probably remember me talking about a Whole30 that I've been up to, right? The 30 days is up on Tuesday, so if you count today, I only have 3 more days to go! I've learned some new things about myself this go around and have been shocked at just how much I miss my grass-fed butter! The first Whole30 I did, I really missed cheese but I am longing for butter this time. Kind of funny.

I do feel great and am really enjoying the positive changes in my body. My clothes certainly feel/fit better, stomach bloating and pain definitely doesn't exist, and I love that I am not obsessing about food in any way at least 90% of the time :) I am a major foodie, so it's hard for me to believe I'll ever be able to fully  keep it out of my head... I am curious to see what my weight, body fat, and other measurements are on Tuesday. No matter what, I feel really good and am so glad I decided to do it! I know that my body has done some great healing inside over the past 30 days. I look forward to continuing to apply some of the things I've learned from this Whole30.

I have observed over the past 27 days I that tend to do really well with eating Whole30 compliant for about 7 days at a time and then I start to really miss certain foods or want a sweet treat. At that point, it was best if I could find a suitable distraction for myself. Especially if it got me out of the kitchen or even the house for that matter. Once I got past the thoughts or cravings, I was usually good for another 7 days, give or take. Kind of interesting.

Starting on Tuesday, I'll be in the reintroduction phase. I am going to bring back my dearly missed butter first (along with other small amounts of dairy) by making some Chicken Tikka Masala (a paleo-ish version) and some gluten-free naan! Stay tuned for those recipes on Tuesday! Yum! What I'm determined to do better this time, is symptom tracking as I bring back certain foods into my diet. I know how many foods make me feel but many are still unknown to me.

So here's the challenge... keep track of how different foods make you feel this week. This process can be really enlightening. Your tracking sheet can be as simple as a piece of notebook paper with 2 columns, 1 for the food, 1 for the symptoms. If you want to use an App on your phone, go for it. Keep it simple, so it doesn't take a ton of time and you'll actually do it... :D Simply jot down each thing you eat during meals & snacks (I wouldn't fuss too much about quantities at this point), then write next to the meal or snack any symptoms you notice when they come up (FYI... some symptoms take days to show up). Since many of us eat the same types of foods eat week, you'll likely notice correlations between certain foods you eat and how they make you feel.

Here are some specific symptoms to watch for (but pay attention for others too!):
  • Bloating, stomach pain, cramping, constipation, loose stool
  • Acne 
  • Headaches 
  • Swelling in hands, face, or feet 
  • Poor sleep
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Low energy, sleepy
Knowledge is power. We can make informed decisions about what foods are "worth" eating when we know how our body responds to them. I hope you'll join me in this challenge and learn a little bit more about yourself this week!