Saturday, March 29, 2014

14 Weeks Post SARPE Surgery

I thought I'd give an update since I see a lot of my blog hits come from people looking for information about SARPE!

My case is different from ALL the blogs I've read, because my orthodontist doesn't want to put braces on until the RPE comes out. In literally every other blog, they have braces by now.

The gap: I mentioned this in a post earlier this month, but the gap closed on March 4, which was 75 days after surgery, and 55 days from the last turn of the key. Not gonna lie, I was pretty happy about it.

I could see and feel that it was closing a bit everyday. My front teeth are on a slight angle, which my orthodontist told me is normal. He said any time there is a space between teeth, they will tip inward to fill the space. So there is a little gap at the top of my front teeth, which has not closed at all since my teeth finally met. It is barely noticeable, though.

The facial numbness/swelling: that all disappeared quite awhile ago, with the feeling in and around my right nostril being the last to return to normal.

Gum numbness: my upper gums are still mostly numb, I'd say 95% numb. The last time I saw my orthodontist, he kind of evaded my question when I asked if that's normal. So I called the oral surgeon's office and their answer was, "Well, you knew ahead of time that might happen." They did say to give it 6 months, but if at 3+ I'm still 95% numb, I honestly don't hold out hope. This is disappointing and upsetting and makes me really worried about the second surgery, since I'm getting triple jaw surgery (upper, lower, and genioplasty).

The numbness doesn't bother me that much except that I'm constantly aware of my upper gums because there is no mutual sensation between my gum feeling my lip and lip feeling my gum. It's just my lip feeling my gums, so it feels like there's something wedged in there.

Biting/chewing: My upper teeth are still not stable enough to bite into anything, but it has gotten a lot better since the gap closed. I can bite into something very soft like a fresh donut but anything more than that, I have to stick it under my molars to bite off a chunk. I'm quite lovely and graceful to watch eat! The appliance still tends to push food out of my mouth, so sometimes food falls out of my mouth when I'm eating.

Also, I still can't chew hard or excessively chewy thinks like almonds, pumpkin seeds, steak (wah!), raw carrots, etc. I am addicted to Quest bars which are hard and chewy. I have to cut them up into bite-size pieces and my jaw still aches after having one. I made the mistake of eating two in a day last week and my jaw let me know what it thought of that.

The appliance: I barely think about it anymore. I've gotten so used to it, sometimes I forget it's there. I am looking forward to getting it out, though. I have another orthodontist appointment on April 14, which my ortho says is when we will discuss removing it. I hope to god that means shortly thereafter and not like, June.

Other: In January, if I bit down normally, I could stick my tongue out the space between my upper and lower teeth. I could also stick my baby finger all the way in my mouth. Gradually, the relationship between my upper and lower teeth has changed. Now if I bite down normally, I can barely fit the tip of my pinky finger in the space! The other day at the gym, my upper and lower front teeth knocked together. It took me a second to realize what was going on because it felt so strange. I have NEVER been able to get those teeth to touch, and now I can stick my lower jaw out so my lower teeth are in FRONT of my upper teeth. Holy smokes, you guys. I'm amazed that SARPE has made that much of a difference to the shape of my upper jaw. These are things I'd probably never know if I got braces put on right after surgery like everybody else.

Sadly, I fried my MacBook Air in an unfortunate inept-yoga-meets-large-glass-of-water-meets-MacBook incident, so I have to make do with what I have on this laptop, which is my old 2007 MacBook that contains only old photos.

December 2009 vs March 2014, smile already looking better...hair is not

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Low Carb Nut Butter Bread + Keto Cinnamon Spread


If you read my previous entry, you'll know I've been craving cinnamon and sugar lately. When it comes to special diets, cravings are the mother of invention. Until I found this bread and this cinnamon spread recipe, I was buttering saltine crackers and sprinkling cinnamon + Truvia on them, and sticking them under the broiler for a few minutes. Not bad, but this is so much better (and keto friendly).

Low Carb Nut Butter Bread - Adapted from this recipe.
If you take a look at the original recipe, you'll see it's twice the size and uses only almond butter. It apparently makes for good sandwich bread, but I balked at the idea of dropping a $13 jar of almond butter into a recipe I wasn't sure I would like or that would work. If you've made bread before, you know it can be a finicky process. I also wanted my bread to be a bit sweeter, hence the cinnamon and sugar additions.

3 eggs
112g almond butter (or 250g almond butter and no peanut butter, as per the original)
112g peanut butter (or any combination of almond butter and peanut butter that equal 225g)
(optional)1tsp sweetener (I use Truvia)
1tsp baking powder
1/4tsp salt
1tsp cinnamon
1/4 warm water

Mix everything together in a bowl and bake in a small, greased loaf pan at 325F until the crust is firm. In my oven, it was 34min.

My own tips: I try to use room temperature eggs whenever I'm baking. I also use fresh ingredients for things like baking soda, baking powder, etc. Also, it doesn't matter if you use crunchy or smooth almond/PB butter. I used crunchy almond butter and smooth peanut butter. The almond bits add some texture to the bread.

I've only done this once and I was bracing myself as I took the loaf out of the pan. To my pleasant surprise, it came out perfectly.



Now that you have your nut butter bread, time to toast it and add keto cinnamon spread!

Keto Cinnamon Spread - from this Reddit post.
This is double the recipe in the post...it doesn't make a gigantic batch by any means.


2 tbsp salted butter, soft
2 tbsp coconut oil
Your preferred sweetener, to taste
4 tsp of cinnamon

Mix all ingredients well and store in an air tight container at room temperature.

I don't have a photo of it but honestly, it doesn't look that appetizing anyway. It sure is delicious, though. It's delicious dipped or spread onto celery, crackers and would probably taste great on your favorite low carb pancakes.

Know of a low carb or paleo recipe you want me to try? I'd love to...leave me a comment and as long as it's not something I know I'd hate, I'll give it a shot.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Getting Fit, Progress Update #4 (6 months!)

Did you miss these?! Because I kinda did. Getting the SARPE surgery really threw a wrench into things for awhile.

I didn't post in January or February because in January, I was right out of surgery and still not eating normally. In February, I had only just started getting back into the low carb thing.

Here are the measurements! I'm throwing January in there just for the record, because I have them. I did not measure myself on February 6/7 (my normal check in date).

MEASUREMENTS

Height: 5'5½" March 6 January 7 December 6 November 7 October 7 September 7Total Lost
Weight 121-125lbs 122-125lbs 130lbs 135lbs 140lbs148lbs25-29 lbs*
Bust 33" 33" 33" 34" 35"36"3"
Waist 26" 27" 27.5" 28" 30"31"5"
Muffin top 33.5" 34.5" 35" 36.5" 38"39"5.5"
Upper thigh 21" 20.5" 21.5" 22" 23"24.5"3.5"
Belly32"32"35"35.5"??3.5"
*I started trying to lose weight on August 26, but I didn't start going low carb until September 6.

Things of note from the measurements:

1. My weight is stuck, I can't seem to break past 121-123 most days. I will talk more about this in a bit.
2. Bust has stayed the same, although I swear it looks like they're actually smaller.
3. Holy shit, have I really lost that much from my muffin top?!!??!?!?!
4. You'll see my thigh measurement went down and then back up. I've been exercising 5-6 times a week lately so I'm sure I'm building some muscle there.

You'll also see I'm being more open about my weight, showing the actual fluctuations instead of just the bottom weight I've hit (none of the previous measurements were lies, I promise).


FOODS I'VE BEEN EATING A LOT OF
Coconut milk! This is my newest addiction. I add it to my smoothies and I make keto chocolate mousse from it
Tea (I'm on a tea kick this winter)
Baby spinach
Pumpkin puree (I made these pancakes and now I'm on a pumpkin kick.)
Cinnamon
Flax meal
Eggs
Cocoa powder
Peanut butter
Avocados
Junk food :(

Sadly, steak is still too painful to eat. Trust me, I have tried. I ended up getting my dad to ground up some steak I couldn't eat, and I made a delicious bunless burger from it.

THOUGHTS

As for the junk food, I'm not sure what's going on with me, but I could probably write a whole other entry about it. I've been in a bad place mentally because I can't seem to make my weight budge (which is stupid, I know). So I decided to cut down my dairy intake, and totally cut out artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, malitol). In response to trying harder to be "good," I've had intense carb cravings, mostly centered around obsessing over Tim Hortons cinnamon sugar donuts. Resisting made it worse, and I think because I feel like I'm restricting myself so much, I've been compulsively eating other carb-laden junk. I do find that giving into one craving brings new and stronger cravings, and eventually I'm just overwhelmed with how much I want junk food. I feel like it's become this vicious circle. Depressed my weight isn't moving --> eat carbs because I feel a lack of motivation --> depressed my weight isn't moving.

I'm just in a place I really don't like anymore with all of this. It's hard to talk about, because I feel like I'm starting to struggle mentally. I feel like I've become too focused on all of this. Anthony and I are going away this weekend and I'll be glad to have a break from it.

Anyway, today I finally decided I didn't want to resist anymore, and I bought myself a cinnamon sugar donut. I learned from being up north that your cravings taste a lot better in your brain than they do in real life. The donut was good, but I get more satisfaction these days out of real food. A strawberry with freshly whipped cream is 1000x tastier than a donut. After I finished the donut, I almost felt like crying because I finally felt free of the craving, like I'm free to get back to being more disciplined.

I do think I need to change my approach to ensure I'm doing something I can stick with. I'm not about "dieting," I'm about living a generally healthy lifestyle that includes moderation of all things good and bad. Perhaps a regular "cheat day" is in order, maybe once every two weeks or something. I was not doing that previously, but obviously I need to change things up a bit.

I think I do need to be more strict on non-cheat days, as obviously I've lost no weight since after my surgery. I think it's half-muscle gaining and half-carb creep (see #10).  I'm now at a healthy weight and don't want/need to lose much more, so I probably need to get my net carbs down to under 20g a day. It's definitely doable, but requires more focus than what I've been giving.

Okay, now that I've sufficiently bored you with my innermost thoughts...

RECIPES I MADE
I've really ramped up my cooking lately...here's what I've been making!

1. Homemade bacon mayo/aioli. I used bacon grease along with olive oil as per a suggestion from my paleo-eating BFF. It tastes amazing on everything. Can't recommend enough.

2. Chocolate mousse mentioned above.

3. Low carb, gluten-free, paleo-friendly pumpkin spice pancakes

4. KetoDietApp's ketchup. KetoDietApp is a low carb and paleo-friendly app with a blog component. They have free recipes on their blog, and a bunch more if you buy the app or their e-book. After trying to find a keto blog for the past 6 months, this is the first one I've really felt works for me, my likes, my cooking skill level, and seems to use ingredients I normally have on hand.

5. Keto cinnamon spread. This is amazing on crackers and on celery.

6. Low carb, gluten-free Nanaimo bars.


RECIPES I'M PLANNING TO TRY

1. Almond butter bread

2. Keto cinnamon rolls

3. Low carb, gluten free brownie cheesecake

4. Low carb skillet chocolate chip cookie

Basically everything from All Day I Dream About Food.


That's all for this month...maybe next month I will do another round of photos, as well as talk about goals and such.

Oh and by the way, the gap between my teeth closed 2 days ago, all on their own. The last day I turned the RPE key was January 8, so it took less than 2 months for my teeth to move 5mm. I'm hoping my teeth get a little more sturdy so I can start biting into things again!
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