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Posts posted by Contessa

  1. 16 minutes ago, MadyVanilla said:

    It's not about being flexible with food choices, but about being flexible with thought processes. 

    Ooh. I'm just sitting here at my kitchen table nodding over your response. That bit about flexible thought processes really preaches. Yes!

  2. 15 minutes ago, MadyVanilla said:

    Day 32/60 (can I even say this?? - I'm learning and working toward Food Freedom.  This wasn't my first, but definitely my worst derailment of this W60.  But I'm moving forward.  The key is that I'm learning)

    You can totally say this :)  I'm glad you're not beating yourself up about yesterday. Sounds like you enjoyed the night with your husband and son, and that you came away with valuable observations. I feel like that's what this food freedom thing is about.

    My therapist says that food issues are the perfect avenue for self-discovery and growth, for two reasons: (1) it's impossible to get food 100% "right" all the time, and (2) anytime you feel like you get it "wrong," well — you'll have another opportunity in a few hours to try a new experiment. 

    There's a lot more gray area with food than there is with a substance like alcohol, which we don't need to survive. All that gray area can be hard for personalities like me (heh) who really want to "check a box," get the gold star, and move on. But the blessing of food is that it invites us to reckon with ourselves at a deeper level, to explore our real hungers, and to honor to what truly feeds us.

  3. 33 minutes ago, MadyVanilla said:

    Even though you had some changes in your strategy over the last week, I get the feeling this is where you still are.  

    Yeah! Last week didn't match my plan, but I stayed in the saddle. That felt good. And yesterday I cooked up a huge amount of W30 proteins and veggies. Grateful to be staying close to home (metaphorically and physically) as this new week begins.

    I dunno, perhaps after 1,382 episodes of eating way too much junk food, I'm ready for a different approach.

    Yes, please borrow the Sunday questions if you want to! Heck, no need to wait until your W60 is done... you can start using them now. Usually most of my reflections around food have been past-focused (beating myself up, regretting whatever it was I ate too much of) but I want to spend energy imagining what it looks like when things are working well.

  4. Food freedom thoughts, 7/5/20:

    I'm almost a week into my food freedom and am already learning some good stuff.

    The first discovery is that, uh, reintroduction is tricky! No catastrophic eating has occurred (none of the former face-planting into a bucket of peanut M&Ms) — but my beautiful, orderly plans for the week buckled under some real world pressure, and I have not kept to the re-intro as I'd wanted.

    The challenge came from spending most of this week with my boyfriend. We did a bit of traveling this week (my farthest journey from home since all this covid stuff began). And it was difficult to maintain a re-intro while spending time together.

    There was a pita sandwich (wheat!) with tuna and sprouts and swiss cheese (dairy!). There was a veggie quesadilla (wheat! dairy!) with beans (legumes! which I'd already successfully re-introduced). None of it caused me any distress, but it did scramble my nice tiered plans.

    Along the way, I resisted a spontaneous Wendy's Frosty and an unplanned bubble tea. I'll enjoy those items later — I just didn't want my first "treats" to be random "eh, sure" drive-through moments on our road trip.

    Another discovery is that I want to try a new Sunday tradition. Starting today, I'll be taking 20-30 minutes each week to answer the following series of questions, which address life in general as well as Food Stuff. I adapted these questions from a coach I used to worked with. I'm looking forward to pausing and paying attention as essential acts of preparation for the week ahead. I've got a fridge full of my favorite W30 foods for the week ahead, and I'm also planning two or three treats for this week. I'll be back in a few days to reflect on those experiences with treats.

    Sunday questions:

    1. What have I accomplished this week?
    2. Is there anything I wanted to accomplish but did not?
    3. What a-ha's or awakenings have I had this week?
    4. What challenges am I experiencing?
    5. If I were coaching myself, what would I tell myself about those challenges?
    6. How do I feel about my eating over the past week?
    7. What foods will I enjoy in the coming week? (this is my chance to think about planning treats) 
    8. What are my top three priorities for this coming week?
    9. If I could get nothing else done this week but one thing, what one thing would I choose to do?  What one thing would make me happy and proud?
    10. How do I want to feel this week?
  5. 23 hours ago, MadyVanilla said:

    I started listening to Atomic Habits during my walk this morning.  It's very eye-opening.  The idea of developing systems for doing things rather than goals - everyone wants to lose weight, but it's the ones that make changes to their system of doing things that are successful.  And the idea that small changes and choices everyday add up over time, but may not be noticeable until you level-up.  The idea that an ice cube doesn't start to melt in a cold room even though the temperature steadily rises until that temp reaches 33.  Everything makes great sense so far.  I feel like I knew these things, but the book brings clarity and structure to what I knew.  I'm within the safety of my W60 right now, but I have the worry in the back of my mind about what happens in the afterward.   

    The bits and pieces I've heard from this book sound so interesting! This sounds like a great companion for this time as you are thinking of your post W30/W60 life. This way of eating is too restrictive for most of us to maintain over many months or many years. But I love what you're saying about small choices that add up. This is a pleasant antidote to my former way of "all or nothing" thinking ("well, I already had some gluten, and it's only 9:45 am, so I might as well spend the rest of the day face-planting into this package of Mint Milanos").

    Excited about your bike, too. Cheers for pleasure that comes from being active!

  6. 12 hours ago, SchrodingersCat said:

    I bought cookies yesterday. They weren't very nice, but I still ate a bunch. This morning I threw the rest in the trash. 


    Bravo! As a veteran of throwing things in the trash....  I enthusiastically support this gesture.

    Melissa Urban talks in Food Freedom Forever about her one-bite rule. If she takes a first bite and absolutely loves the treat, great. She lets herself continue with the second bite, and so on. If she doesn't love it, she either gives the food away or gets rid of it.

    Throwing food away is a nice way to signal that you have changed your mind, and that you get to call the shots... not the food.

  7. Hey there, excited to hear about your second round! Boy do I relate to "porridge brain." And I relate to the childhood coping strategy, too!

    Your goals sound wonderful. Cheering you on as you explore alternative means of relaxing, living well, and enjoying life!

  8. Food freedom thoughts, 6/30/20:

    Here's a hot tip: the best thing to do on the morning after finishing a Whole 30 is to prepare a big batch of Whole 30 foods. Here's you, italian meatballs, spaghetti squash, and roasted butternut squash.

    After 30 days of Whole 30 eating, I'm doing a by-the-book fast track reintroduction. Today was legumes (normal W30 breakfast; veggie and lentil soup for lunch; a smear of peanut butter on an apple). After this, I'll go back to classic Whole 30 for a couple of days.

    Incredibly, even lentil soup tastes pretty good right now. :) 

    I feel very grateful to have finished this Whole 30 and to be feeling so good.

    I plan to write here about once a week for the next couple of months with food thoughts and re-introduction notes.

    Tonight, it is a joy to think about eating in a way that is flexible, pleasurable, and life-affirming.

  9. Thank you Mady <3  I feel the same about your posts.

    I've been working on this food stuff for a long time and I know I'm not alone. I find encouragement and help in all kinds of different places, and just want to go on sharing what works and what doesn't. Fortunately, I have a pretty good grasp of what doesn't work. I think all of us doing a Whole 30 probably have that part of the spectrum covered. Focusing now on what works. :)

  10. Food journal for 6/29/20:

    Breakfast: crummy ol' hard-boiled egg, in a hurry

    Lunch: Sweet potato + steamed broccoli + roasted cauliflower + spicy chicken tinga + sauce

    Dinner: Stovetop marinated chicken + mashed potatoes + green beans almondine + a splash of kombucha

    Because I started this adventure a couple of days before the start of the month, I am considering today my last official day of this Whole 30. Now the real adventure begins... figuring out how to translate my observations from the past 30 days into sustainable ways of feeding myself. I've been at this adventure of sustainable eating for quite some time. In some ways, the Whole 30 is the easy part... the challenge comes after the external expectations are withdrawn and I am left to make my own judgment calls.

    My goal is to eat in a way that is flexible, pleasurable, and life-affirming.... and to lean on my own authority for determining what that looks like. Melissa Urban is never going to show up in my kitchen and tell me that that English muffin is not in my best interest. So I need to put a lot of energy into consciously thinking about my food freedom. I plan to start another thread in the Re-introduction area for cataloging these reflections.

    So grateful to have another few weeks at home to think about this and experiment. Thank you, W30 squad, for your companionship along the way!

  11. Food journal for 6/28/20:

    Breakfast: I slept right through it!

    Lunch: Sweet potato + kale + roasted cauliflower + turkey burger + sauce

    Dinner: Riced cauliflower + steamed broccoli + Nom Nom Paleo's chicken tinga. (This may have been the dietary low point of the entire Whole 30 for me. Or maybe I'm just pretty tired of piles of veggies plus a protein....)

  12. Reintroduction thoughts for 6/28/20:

    Spent a good portion of yesterday thinking through my reintroduction and trying to think through what I will need on a physical and spiritual levels in order to be successful. Here is my game plan for the next two weeks:

    • Day 31: Legumes: I'll try some peanut butter, soy sauce, and black beans.
    • Days 32–33: Back to the Whole30
    • Day 34: Reintroduce non-gluten grains: I'll try some oatmeal, some white rice, and perhaps some corn tortilla chips. I did notice on on my spontaneous sushi date night with my bf last weekend that the soy sauce caused noticeable belly bloat the next day. That was an unintended but useful mini-introduction.
    • Days 35–36: Back to the Whole30
    • Day 37: Reintroduce dairy: Ahhh, this is probably the one I've missed the most — and I also think it will be the one that affects me the most. I will try some cream in my coffee, and I will melt some cheese into my "bowl of stuff" meal for lunch or dinner. I still have about six different kinds of cheese in my fridge, which I never threw out before the Whole 30. They are probably getting moldy.... hmmm.... I need to do a fridge audit before my next grocery shop.
    • Day 38-39: Back to the Whole30
    • Day 40: Reintroduce gluten grains all by themselves. I've been feeding my sourdough starter through the last 29 days, so perhaps I will bake up a loaf of sourdough and see how that goes. I think I have some wheat crackers I can bust out of the cupboard as well.
    • Day 41-42: Back to the Whole30
    • Day 43: Re-evaluate notes from the past couple weeks and post a reflection about what I learned. I will commit to doing that in this space. (And if f I say out loud that I'll do it.... I know I'll do it!)

    Now a big list of hacks and discoveries from the past year or so that I would like to start or re-start:

    • Meal planning and treat planning. In addition to my standard meal-planning, I love the thought of pausing on Sunday to think about the coming week, and to plan a treat or two. This approach will make more sense outside the context of Covid, where the world expands and I am enjoying meals with friends. Still, I like the thought of thinking ahead around treats. I want to avoid returning to the point where I just half-heartedly toss a pack of Oreos into my shopping cart because they're there. That does not feel like a treat. (Actually having a pound of Oreos in my house is a panic-inducing thought.) I want to preserve the specialness of treats.
    • On this note... Use my findings from my re-intro to influence my grocery shopping list. I may discover in the next couple weeks that ice cream doesn't agree with me. I need to pay attention to these discoveries and shop with them in mind.
    • Consider short mini-resets along the way — after a vacation, when my energy dips, when I'm feeling sludgy. Consider micro-resets. I have sometimes made pledges to myself to avoid just sugar for even a single day, and that has been a helpful discipline.
    • Eat "301" —  "301" is my term for three meals a day, zero foods between meals, one day at a time. The structure of eating just three meals a day is hugely helpful for me. There are times in life when I do get extra hungry and need a snack, and that's fine. But I generally have no reason to snack every day between meals. When I start snacking, my meal times start to dissolve, and the day becomes one unboundaried graze-a-thon. Feeling crappy is the inevitable result. I know there are people who can eat this way, but I am not one of them.
    • Experiment with the alluring single square of really fine chocolate. I've heard food people talk about that one daily square of perfect dark chocolate. I've never tried it. This idea is influenced by Special Agent Dale Cooper, who spoke about it in an episode of Twin Peaks. I love you, Dale Cooper. And I love this idea because it involves slowing down and paying attention, which is what this is all about. It's impossible for me to "hoover" dark chocolate.
    • Last and most importantly, pay attention to how I'm doing emotionally and spiritually from day to day. The significance of attending closely to my inner experience can't be overstated. I need to be reflecting on my experience, learning from my experience, becoming a loving detective of my experience.

    More to come.


  13. Food journal for 6/27/20:

    Breakfast: Apple "cereal" (not sure where this recipe originated. A mix of apple, coconut, chia seeds, almond butter, etc. that comes together via food processor into a porridge. I've been wanting to try this egg-free breakfast for a while and today I finally did! A nice break from eggs and "bowls of stuff"

    Lunch: Chicken fingers and fries

    Dinner: Sweet potatoes + ground turkey + roasted brussels sprouts + sauce

  14. Food journal for 6/24/20:

    Breakfast: Sweet potato + cauliflower + chicken + sauteed kale + sauce

    Lunch: Ground turkey + mashed potato + steamed broccoli + sauce

    Dinner: Ground turkey + mashed potato + steamed broccoli + sauce (an encore performance)

  15. 1 hour ago, MadyVanilla said:

    I really need to take a moment and savor this and give myself credit. 

    Yes! Glad to hear you remark on this progress. When we can look at the things that tripped us up before, and think, "I am going to try a different choice this time" — that's massive. You're unlocking two powerful channels here . The first is simply realizing that you have choices. The second is making a choice that serves you on a deeper level.