It’s been a year since I signed up with Noom. Here are some facts.
First the negative.
- My current diet is not what I’d like it to be. Specifically, I eat way too much sugar, mostly in the form of cookies (okay, Oreos).
- My arthritis has been acting up in my right index finger and my right big toe.
- My sleep is still not great. I continue to struggle with getting back to sleep when I wake up early, which is far too often.
Now the positive.
- My weight is around 160 pounds, which is 15 pounds below my original goal, and 10 pounds below my stretch goal.
- I’ve been holding steady around 160 pounds since June. This morning I weighed in at 158.2.
- My grasp of the Noom principles is still intact and manifests itself primarily in my eating less and exercising more. When I overeat those cookies, I know it, and respect the impact that has on my life.
- My exercise level is pretty good, because I’m able to play disc golf almost daily.
- I also am still planking regularly to keep my upper body and core more engaged.
- I feel generally pretty good.
Essentially, I am killing it with Noom! But I remain skeptical. You see, I’ve been down this path before. Lost the weight. Seemed to be over the hump. And then … the pounds started slowly adding back on, until … yeah, there I was again, not feeling well in an unhealthy place.
So, yes, I need to get my eating habits back on track, and maybe even get rid of some of this inflammation that is causing my arthritis to flare up.
The Autoimmune Protocol Diet
My partner and I have talked about starting the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet in November.
In case you don’t know, the AIP Diet is designed to help a person reduce inflammation and discover what might be causing GI issues and inflamation.
I have pain in my joints. Am I eating something that adds to this? I have frequent gastrointestinal tension. What part of my diet is contributing to that?
I firmly believe that my diet — also factoring in exercise and sleep — has the primary effect on my well-being, and the science backs me up in this belief. So changing my diet to alter how I feel physically makes sense for me.
The anti-inflammatory nature and the quest for discovery, though, that are prime elements of the AIP Diet make it very restrictive, at least in Phase One.
AIP Diet – Phase One – Elimination
During Phase One, Elimination, we remove just about everything that could be causing inflammation and/or causing gut issues. That includes the following items.
- Nightshade vegetables, primarily for me:
- Peppers (but not black pepper)
- Potatoes (but not sweet potatoes)
- Tomatoes & Tomatillos
If your diet is like mine, you may look at the above list and think, “What am I going to eat?!?!?” I’m thinking that right now.
I mean, I eat two to four eggs daily. I eat a lot of pasta and almost as many beans. I love my almonds. Oh, and more potatoes? Yes, please!
Nevertheless, this is the Elimination phase of the AIP Diet, so everything must go!
I’d also avoid the following:
- Tobacco (I don’t use it anyway)
- Alcohol (I quit drinking 14 months ago)
- Coffee (uh-oh…)
- Oils, except Coconut, Avocado, and Olive
- Processed Foods
- Processed Sugars, but Honey and Monkfruit Sweetener are okay
- NSAIDs, such as Ibuprofin, Naproxen, and Aspirin
That’ll clean out the system, resetting it in a way, and that will prepare me for Phase Two.
AIP Diet – Phase Two – Reintroduction
During Phase Two, Reintroduction, is where — one food item at a time — I’ll start eating them again.
For example, I might reintroduce coffee for a week and see how that affects me.
The plan would be, then, to slowly reintroduce foods until negative symptoms recur, and that will help pinpoint the food that is causing it.
Upon further review, though…
My partner and I decided not to do AIP. Why?
We eat fairly well, despite my misgivings about my diet and the overload of Oreos (leave them at the store!), so our guts should be in pretty good shape. After all, if we are resetting to zero, that means our bodies will lose many of the positives it has built over the last few years. Why destroy that?
Also, if I’m being completely honest with myself, the AIP elimination phase is hard. I’m old. Why put myself through that?
So what we’ve decided to do is…
- Eliminate consumption of processed sugars — raw honey in limited quantities is okay, and my partner likes monkfruit sweetener
- Eliminate consumption of most legumes — hummus is okay (for now, anyway)
- Reduce coffee intake — we love americanos made with Cafe Bustelo in our stovetop espresso maker — from 3 cups a day to 1, with herbal teas and yerba mate taking the place of the missing coffee
- Replace much of our consumption of processed grains with whole grains
- Increase consumption of green, leafy vegetables
Plus our usual eating habits.
- Meat maybe once, sometimes twice, a week
- Non-dairy milks, primarily oat, unsweetened cashew, and unsweetened almond
- Mostly non-dairy cheese, and not much of it
- Lots of fresh and frozen vegetables
- Moderate consumption of oils — olive, avocado, and coconut
- Plenty of noodles, usually brown rice noodles, and quinoa & brown rice spaghetti
- Lots of rice, because Japanese white rice is so good, but we have brown rice equally as often
Noom has been great for me. I’ve lost 35 pounds and maintained it for almost 4 months without even really trying.
However, my eating habits have veered toward too much sugar, and that can’t be good.
My partner and I considered going on the AIP Diet, but that seems too extreme for us right now, so we are going to use some of the principles of AIP to refocus our diets.
I’m looking forward to getting back on the path to healthier eating!