Forum Comments

Curly Girls
In Fun
skwigg
Nov 24, 2022
Ok, here we go. 🤣 Color has really been a conundrum with curly hair. I loved my highlights. At times I also went with deeper browns to try to avoid breakage. It seems like once I hit about 40, my hair was so fine and broke so easily. I could no longer grow it past shoulder length without the ends getting very stringy. That was this stage. At that point, I had been going for a cut and color every 8 weeks for like 20 years. Covid was the first time I gave that a break for over a year. So, let's see, I was 52 when I quit coloring it. I don't think I would have had the confidence to go grey any younger. I totally understand why women keep coloring. I admire anyone who has the guts to go grey in their 30s. I was not that person. Anyway, the weirdest thing happened. My "new" hair came in thick and strong. It was in dramatically better shape than the color treated portions. I was eager to get rid of those, so I did one more chin length cut, which I HATED. I felt like Larry from the Three Stooges. Short grey hair, especially with glasses, caused an identity crisis. I let it grow for another year or two. I'd been wearing it in an inverted bob that was longest around my face and shortest in back, like so. I'm amazed that it can be this long and still be thick and full. I'm sure the bob helped. The ends have more fullness when there aren't a lot of layers. It's getting too long to still be bobbed though. I saw Andie MacDowell in Maid on Netflix and thought, OMG, I want a wild grey mane!!! So, at my last hair appointment, we began the un-bobbening, keeping the length and adding the tiniest bit of layering. The ends are still very full. I am a happy camper now. Even though my hair is grey, I feel younger and happier and more like myself with it long. I'm going through a curly girl rebellion. I have just HAD it with expensive curly products that make my hair look weighed down and dirty. So many of them are full of "natural oils" and never really get your hair clean, especially if you're co-washing and not actually shampooing. I spent hundreds of dollars on Aveda and Curlsmith and the like. Do you know what works really well? Garnier. Their $3 Smooth Air Dry is actually better on my hair than the $40 Weightless Air Dry Cream from Curlsmith. Same with their Curl Renew spray. I like Head & Shoulders shampoo and Aussie 3-Minute Miracle deep conditioner from the drugstore. I use BioTerra gel that I get in a big one liter bottle from Sally Beauty for like $8. I shampoo my hair at least 3 times a week. I got really tired of having an itchy, flaky scalp and dirty hair. I felt like that was the norm with curly girl methods. I kept seeing conversations about how to scrub flakes with a rubber brush, or how to hide the smell if you haven't washed your hair in nine days. I was like, has everyone lost their minds?! It's funny you mention the fuzzy hair after a salon visit, @Hayley. The same thing happens to me. I love my new stylist. I love what she's able to do with long curls, but she'll use a product saying, "This is so lightweight, it won't make your hair crunchy at all." And I'm thinking, oh, I'm screwed. LOL I like firm gel and hard cast on my hair that needs to be broken up after it dries. That's what makes ringlets. Soft-hold makes fuzz. So, I'll get a great cut, and then usually have to re-wet it and put more product in it when I get home. I could go on and on. My hair has been through so many stages, stylists, and product schemes. I find it best to go with what actually works for my hair versus what the salon is selling or what bloggers are recommending online. Most of what I'm using, I arrived at by going to Target or Amazon, typing in "curl cream" or "conditioner," and reading reviews of the highest rated products.
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Vegetarian protein sources?
In Food
Vegetarian protein sources?
In Food
skwigg
Sep 25, 2022
Ok, where was I? 😀 I don’t find any value in daily tracking of food. For me, it’s so obsessive and pointless that it’s actively counterproductive. I want the way I eat to be easy, fun, truly second nature. Translating meals into math formulas is the opposite of that. Instead, I keep in mind the big picture or how I want my life to be. I want to be healthy and fit, sure, but also relaxed and flexible while enjoying all kinds of delicious food. It is possible to make adjustments without doing anything rigid or extreme. The key to it is being clear on your “why,” and also taking a long time horizon. It doesn’t matter how long it takes if the journey itself is a joy. For me, I had come out of that devastating, months-long autoimmune reaction where I couldn’t workout at all and would get winded standing up in the shower. I have never experienced fatigue like that. I lost a lot of muscle mass and my body comp changed completely. There were certainly some aesthetic goals tied up in my desire to muscle back up, but I was driven to regain my strength and endurance for quality of life reasons too. I want to be a badass old person. I want to stay out of assisted living. It’s important to be clear on your why. Looking a certain way was never a healthy motivator for me when I was pursuing it in isolation. WHY do I want to make an adjustment to my eating? What do I hope to achieve? It becomes less nebulous if there is a clear reason for the changes and then clear indications on whether it’s working. Using me as an example, before I increased my protein intake, I had some clear indicators that what I had been doing wasn’t working very well. I was hungry and tired. I could barely do one chin-up anymore, and my eyes almost popped out of my head from the strain. I had lost all the muscle definition in my legs. They were getting small and soft. I found myself having to hold onto something and use my arms to get up off the floor, which was scary and nuts. My previously flat and defined abdomen puffed out and folded over my waistband even though my weight hadn’t changed. My white blood cell count was low on multiple occasions, which kept freaking out my doctor. Things were going wrong, and I knew that eating less food or burning more calories would not solve it. I would make a change, like adding protein powder to breakfast, and see how that felt. It felt goood! I noticed a difference in my workouts right away, so I added more protein to lunch and dinner. I found that dairy fat/protein in the form of cheese was making me feel exceptionally good, so cheese it is! No more of the weird vegan “cheez” that even the dog won’t eat. Overall, nothing was happening really quickly, but I could tell that I was headed in the right direction based on my strength, energy, and enjoyment of my meals. There was no clear trend with my scale weight, but I could tell my body comp was shifting for the better. I was feeling good mentally and physically. I liked my food more. That’s reason enough to keep going. So, look at what you feel is off right now and how you think it could be better. Try those things without any pressure or rules, just noticing if they work for you. I like what Sarah said about putting protein first, as in just making sure there is some in your meals and snacks. That one change over a few weeks could make a big difference in satisfaction and energy. Then, evaluate further based on feeling even better and having even more fun with your food. There never needs to be deprivation or rigid adherence. I never calculated how many grams of anything I might need or forced myself to eat to a math equation. Generally, our own body is telling us plenty, and if there’s a problem it’s because we’re not listening.
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Vegetarian protein sources?
In Food
skwigg
Sep 24, 2022
I found myself in a similar predicament while eating almost totally plant-based, as opposed to vegetarian where eggs and dairy were options. I had been feeling fairly ravenous, but also bloated and softer, while getting a lot of my protein from things like beans, lentils, and whole grain bread. Those are legitimate sources of protein. It all adds up. For me, it just wasn’t adding up high enough to look, feel, and perform my best. I did some spot checks, like you, and found that I was scraping in at 30-40g of protein most days and that my fat intake was also woefully low. In vegan lore, if you’re eating “starch based,” aka McDougall, eating too much fat with that many carbs is frowned upon for causing fat gain. I wanted to write this off as pure diet lunacy, but that starch/fat combo did seem to be bad news for me post-menopause, so eating a bunch more nuts and nut butter to up the protein didn’t seem like the best course of action. The first thing I did that made a HUGE difference was that I started to put a scoop of 20g of protein powder into my morning smoothie. Later, I also started putting a scoop of powdered peanut butter (along with some real peanut butter) in my oatmeal to up the protein there. I switched from using regular almond milk, which only has like 2g of protein and no fat, to Silk Protein almond milk, which has 10g of protein and quite a bit of fat. I tried to drink 1-2 cups per day. Then, I added a protein bar in the afternoon before dinner. You would think that adding extra foods would have caused weight gain, and it did for a couple weeks, but then everything just started to work better. I was feeling stronger and lifting heavier. As my protein intake went up, I was less hungry, and I wasn’t relying as much on whole grain bread and chickpea pasta for my protein. At that point, I put back some animal foods and saw another leap in benefits. I have found that adding even small portions of animal protein to an otherwise plant-based meal makes a big difference in how my body is able to utilize the protein. I’m talking one egg or one piece of cheese, not anything crazy. Like, red lentils, an egg and asparagus for lunch. A piece of mozzarella cheese and a handful of almonds or cherry tomatoes as a snack. There is also the timing thing. As I’ve said in other posts, having a little quality protein frequently throughout the day works fantastically for me. It turns out to be way better than my old fitness/fasting method of eating a giant portion of meat and then nothing for hours. Everyone’s protein powder flavor preferences are different. I like pea protein blends. I can’t stand anything with Splenda/sucralose or Ace-k. I like protein powders sweetened with cane sugar, coconut sugar, monk fruit, and stevia, usually some combination of those. My favorite is the Hy-Vee grocery store Energy Edge plant protein, which is good because it’s the cheapest. I also like KOS. Manitoba Harvest hemp protein powder is pretty good. The main thing is to always make protein shakes with other fruit, fat, and milk. My days of mixing it with water in a shaker bottle and gagging it down are long behind me. Unsweetened would be good because then you can sweeten it however you want. I also like mixing some protein powder with that Silk Protein Milk in vanilla or chocolate. I had a shake tonight that was chocolate protein milk, chocolate protein powder, peanut butter powder, and real peanut butter. It was blended and then frozen for an hour to become truly milkshakes-like. Protein bars are similar to powders in that one person’s delicious treat will make another person hurl. My favorite bars are Nature Valley Protein Chewy Bars in dark chocolate peanut butter. These are granola bars in a box from the grocery store, but they have 10g of protein along with some good fat and fiber. I like Nugo dark chocolate mint. They taste like Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies to me but like furniture polish to my husband. We both like the chocolate peanut butter Clif Builders Bars that people here recommended. If it’s only an hour or so until my next meal, I’ll cut them in half. If it’s two or more hours until a meal, I’ll eat a whole one. You mention oatmeal and pancake options. I never liked protein powder in either one of those. I like a spoonful of peanut butter and a scoop of peanut butter powder (PB Fit) in oatmeal, sweetened with honey and banana. For protein pancakes, I made some a couple weeks ago that were oatmeal, eggs, bananas, vanilla, cinnamon, and ground flaxseed. Even my husband loved those and he was highly skeptical. Yoga is awesome. Doing some kind of strength training a few days a week is awesome. Personally, I see the best results when I’m making a deliberate effort to get stronger. That can be more challenging body weight exercises, holding yoga poses longer, or using heavier weights. I found joy in backing off of the “jumping around like a rabbit” type workouts in favor of picking up something heavy and putting it down a few times. Slowly. With plenty of rest between sets and days off in between workouts. There is nothing I’ve had to stop eating, but I did have to make a mental switch to start prioritizing protein and eating enough overall. If I’m doing that, my metabolism and hormones are happy and I can enjoy any food I want. I may play with portion size and frequency, but I never tell myself I can’t have something.
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Random Thoughts
In Fun
skwigg
Sep 10, 2022
@snail I work 3pm to 11pm, so dinner is usually at work. I live close enough that sometimes I can come home to eat. If not, dinner is at work. And if work is crazy, dinner is at 9pm. Every day is different. And I’m sure everyone’s schedule is different. The key is to pay attention to what’s effective and sustainable for you, especially as hormones start changing. My approach from 20 years ago would never work now. Even the one from two years ago wasn’t going so well. It helps to not make any assumptions about what you should be doing, and to get curious about what might be easier or work better. Like, I would never have thought that eating candy after breakfast would be beneficial, but it sure is. 🤷‍♀️ So is the mindset of eating enough and eating for muscle. Cooking dinner at midnight was never going to happen, so I eat dinner at work and bring snacks. If I retired tomorrow, the whole thing would probably spread out more, with breakfast starting at 6 or 7. I would love to go to sleep earlier and get up earlier. I forgot to talk about deliberate weight loss. A few months ago, I was getting really uncomfortable. Jeans cutting into me, wedding rings unwearable. I didn’t do anything drastic, I put fewer nuts in my smoothie, ate bread less often, started eating half a protein bar instead of the 300cal ones, and stayed a little more mindful of portions in general. Nothing happened quickly, but I started losing about a pound a month. That, plus a visit to a jeweler got my rings back on. No suffering, gasping or backlash at all from a very slightly lower food intake with more protein. I really feel like the frequent timing of protein throughout the day makes it easier for my old-people metabolism to utilize it. A decade ago it didn’t matter. I was all intermittent fasting and no snacking and that worked. I was going 7 hours or so between lunch and dinner. That just doesn’t fly anymore.
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Random Thoughts
In Fun
skwigg
Sep 10, 2022
@snail Diet logic will tell you that as you get older, your metabolism slows down, so you need to eat less food and do more cardio. Diet logic has it ass backwards. If you underfeed yourself, metabolism gets worse, hormones get out of whack, and fatigue sets in. Anytime I veered too far in that direction, I got tired and hungry, my belly poofed out, and my muscle definition vanished. The more I pushed, the worse all of that got. So, now, as a post-menopausal woman, I know that low-calorie dieting and overexercising is like the grim reaper for your hormones. What makes my hormones (and muscles) happy, is rest, recovery, strength training, good sleep, quality protein, starchy starch, healthy fat, lots of plants, and being in the sweet spot on sugar. I think I mentioned that when my husband retired and started going walking with me, we were eating candy the whole way. A few weeks ago, I was like, “This is stupid. NO more walking candy!” I quit eating it on morning walks, but found that I was eating more candy overall, like a lot more! LOL So, now I have a caramel and a couple of Tootsie Rolls in the morning when I walk the dog, and then I’m kind of indifferent about it the rest of the day. So, that’s my sugar sweet spot, deliberately having some first thing. Then, if more sugar presents itself later, I can enjoy or pass without ever feeling like I can’t get get enough of the stuff. Now, eating for muscle and metabolism, that’s been interesting. I’m basically eating protein every 2-3 hours all day long. I’m not eating bodybuilder amounts though. I don’t count grams. I just make sure to eat some. I look and feel better, and definitely perform better, when I do. I have also sadly discovered that any kind of flour/fat combo now causes an insta-pooch of my lower abdomen. So, bagels and cream cheese, pasta and cream sauce, waffles and butter, donuts, all the fun stuff. I still love these foods and still eat them, but they aren’t daily staples the way they might have been in the past. I don’t limit carbs or starch though. I like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, lentils, quinoa, All-Bran, beans, fruit, that kind of thing. For whatever reason, I can eat satisfying amounts of those all day and stay quite lean, but if I butter two pieces of toast, I get puffy, my pants get tight, and my rings won’t come off. So, annoying. Anyway, so, a day of eating might go like: 9:30 - A bowl of All-Bran with blueberries, blackberries, and gooseberries, and Silk Protein Milk. Strength train for 10-30 minutes, three days a week 10:30 - Super food smoothie with protein powder, banana, berries, greens, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices 11:00 - Caramels and Tootsie Rolls 12:00 - a couple pieces of mozzarella and a handful of cherry tomatoes 2:00 - A big spinach and greens salad with chicken and cheese, honey mustard dressing, Mary’s Gone Crackers, fruit for dessert 2:30 - Atomic Fireball candy on the way to work 4:30 - Protein bar 6:00 - If I come home for dinner, something like a veggie burger patty with cheese, or an egg with cheese, or leftover chicken. Then, a starch like lentils, potatoes, or sweet corn, then a veggie like broccoli or asparagus, then a fruit like cherries or peaches. I’m usually not at all hungry after that and don’t eat again until morning. Though, if I get hungry I’ll have something else. My days can vary a lot. We have company, we eat out, I have popcorn for lunch, life happens, but in general my mindset is that I’m frequently consuming protein foods and whole foods, not skipping meals or letting myself get too hungry, and lifting things in order to stay strong and keep my muscle mass.
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skwigg

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