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About chichi

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  1. @CricketProtein I think we all deal with this in some way or another, and I know you feel especially constricted by what you perceive as the cultural and gender expectations. My guess is, part of your problem right now is that you don't know them all that well yet. And if you have known them for a long time, it's time to start connecting about other things. My family is PUSHY with food, and they get personally offended if I don't eat something I used to eat, and they hold onto it for multiple holidays, they keep bringing it up, they talk about me and my 'diet' all the time like it's the primary thing about me. But I realized that food is a superficial placeholder for the relationship. Because it's not about the food, actually. It's about me differentiating myself from them, which to them feels like a betrayal, and that's always been a part of my whole family dynamic. I moved away, I chose a different kind of life, etc. etc., and what they really want is for me to just be one of them, and act like I enjoy the whole thing for once in my life. If it's not one thing, it's something else. When they watch me eat, and say, "I thought you didn't eat dumplings!" I just say, "I thought you mighta found something better to obsess over." And they like that. They just want me to talk to them the way they talk, not reserved and separate. So this isn't your nuclear family, and it's going to be hard to find the 'right' way to interact around food. But it's not really about the food. Go extra in other areas, spend as much time with them as possible, wash dishes with aunties, open up and be sincere, and communicate really well with your partner because you'll need her as your ally. You don't want to seem like you're unwilling to engage in their culture--what you need to do is talk to them. It will take time, and sometimes you won't eat as 'well' as you'd like to, and they'll think you're a very strange person, but they'll come around. And if they don't, you'll all have to put up with each other anyway.
  2. This is weird, but sometimes when I'm anxious and I want crunchy stuff, what works is to floss and brush my teeth. I can do it while I watch TV or listen to an audiobook and it fulfills something your brain is accustomed to getting, some kind of sensory input for yer mouth. Similar to the tea habit for me.
  3. chichi

    Most important long-term eating habits

    @Whole30survivor I hope you're still surviving! Meal template is huge, especially when you're out away from your structured schedule for a while, in an unreliable food landscape. Sure, sometimes when travelling, jerky and an apple is all I'm going to eat, but next time I have an opportunity to get a full meal with all the parts, veg protein fat, I really take that opportunity, even if it feels absurd ordering it. It's like a little bump of normalcy and assurance that I can feed myself in a way that makes me feel good, and helps me make it through my next travel day. I would also like to add about the double meal planning--- if you're making all the food, make what you eat. Take care of yourself. Put your mask on first. You're busy working and travelling for work: if your partner really cannot handle eating the way you eat, your partner can do the meal prep. When we make meals at our house (I don't have kids, just me and my husband), he might add cheese to his plate or warm up some rice to go with his meal, or put crackers in his soup, etc. Things like sugar or legumes when they are in sauce or seasoning don't bother me too much, so I don't worry about that if he's cooking, but he was able to convert to my cooking oils of choice and my general meal template, or at least recognize that just cooking a steak and cheesy potatoes wasn't a meal for me (though if there's salad in the fridge and an avocado on the counter, I can work with a steak).
  4. Yessss. It's all in the sauce. For us, and I say us because how I eat has changed the way our household eats even though my partner didn't ever actually do the W30, the biggest change has been meals built without grain products. Our dinner rotation used to be basically pasta, nachos, curry or stirfry w/ rice, soup w/ bread, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc. And breakfast was toast, oatmeal, bagels, muffins, pancakes etc. I don't think I had a grain-free meal in my life before my W30 (3 years ago). Now, all of our together-meals are pretty classic W30 plates. (Though, obviously, my own meals get weird, because leftovers. The rest of the taco fixin's on a plate of mashed potatoes with some green olives? Sure.)
  5. Does anybody (especially men, as it seems to be especially common in men) have experience with getting food stuck in their esophagus? As a chronic life issue? A number of men in my family have experienced this regularly, and I always dismissed it as not chewing their food, eating too much gristle off chicken bones, cutting steak too big, etc. But my husband had to have a bite of food removed from his esophagus last week, and the ENT told us the biopsy tissue results came back consistent with eosinophilic esophagitis, which as I understand essentially means chronic allergy to some food or food group, causing the esophagus to swell and constrict. It's super expensive to test this allergy since the allergic reaction doesn't necessarily happen externally; you may have to get a scope done each time you re-intro a food you've excluded to see if you're having an allergic reaction. I ride my bike pretty good these days, and my husband's general meal template has gradually shifted to look mostly like mine, though he does eat oatmeal pretty regularly, and still has the occasional milkshake. We generally eat really well, and healthily. I'm curious if anybody has experience with this and whether the Whole 30 experiment interacted with the condition, helped you discover a food allergy, or helped you manage this condition. I'm not sure what direction to go, as the ENT told me that the last two people he worked with that honed in on their allergies found them to be milk and strawberries, respectively. Fresh strawberries, of all things. I feel like I thought I had an understanding of how to feed us well, and now my compass is spinning in circles!
  6. @Advocado I'm curious if after a while you have a different understanding of the 'is it worth it' mentality. My 'journey' with this wasn't quick, and I sometimes think people that feel like they've abruptly changed their entire life are in a honeymoon period and haven't landed back into their real lives yet. It is hard. It took me 3 years of gradual, gradual changes to feel like I truly operate, mostly unemotionally and without stress, with an 'is it worth it' mindset. I can tell you what it looks like now, though the first year was not much like this at all! It was eating like I did before the Whole 30 and feeling guilty. Now, 3ish years after I started this thing, when we go out to a 'nice' place, I'll just choose things that I know are minimally troublesome, though they might certainly still have added sugar, soy, legumes, etc., and I have no problem simply asking for 'no dairy' (that's the worst for me, I don't even enjoy the expensive meal because my sinuses are stuffed up and my throat is itchy as soon as I eat it). I don't ask the server specifics, I just generally steer away from things that are likely going to make me feel like garbage later. But I might still have a glass of wine or two, and I might still feel like garbage the next day sometimes. It doesn't send me crashing wildly into failure land. It reminds me why I love feeling mostly good most of the time, and why I really want to eat cabbage and eggs and every day for breakfast. I didn't get 'rid' of less healthy things permanently. Today I ate a melted chocolate out of my delivery van's cupholder, and I was so very, very low blood sugar that it was 110% worth it, and I was very, very excited to get home and eat shredded chicken with avocado, greens, and mustard, cold out of the fridge. I drink about 2% of the alcohol I used to, and don't miss it at all. I don't plan my less healthy foods, I just don't think about food as much as I used to. My general habits and choices have changed. My 'comfort foods' are the things I always have on hand that I can rely on to make me feel good, well fed.
  7. chichi

    Here goes!

    @TJHigh congrats! Trip sounds awesome. It's cool to see how specifically you've been able to lay out the results of this experiment. I'm also glad to be seeing it in real time since we finished the W30 about the same time--it helps me remember how actually close I still am to the heels of the W30. Like the other day I was like, well, pretty much got legumes, added sugar, and alcohol figured out, that only took forEVER, and then it was like, well, actually, it didn't, it was pretty quick. Only been three weeks. Keeping it all in long-term context is hard!
  8. chichi

    Here goes!

    I think there's a lot of risk in looking at your weight every day. It's not measuring fat vs sugar adaptation. How could it? I think your hunger between meals is your best tracker. If you feel like snacking two hours after eating a breakfast high in starch or with added sugar, that tells you your body just burned through your sugar and it wants more. If you're looking at the scale every day, it's probably just measuring water. I ate my first plate that included beans for breakfast, and I just feel a little fuller so far, not quite bloated but just like, more volume. It's probably the difference in the way different starches require water for digestion? I don't know that much about it, but I really believe that checking your weight every day, and using that number as a basis for analysis of the previous day's eating/activity level is neither accurate nor helpful. Especially when you think of your eating as good and your goal as vigilant. That sounds like a diet that you will crash out of at some point. I'm not trying to sound harsh or something, I just hope you can gradually (or maybe abruptly, if that's what it takes) divorce the scale as a value system for your life. I think it's the healthy and comfortable place you want to be psychologically, right?
  9. chichi

    Here goes!

    I also reintro'd a drink finally, had a couple glasses of champagne. It's tough, man! especially because I wasn't in the 'controlled environment' of my home and routine, it's hard to make decisions that I feel sure of. But I approached it as like, yeah I might be jittery with this tomorrow and have to deal with that, but it's just one night, I'll be grateful to bet back to my normalcy after this. (I was super jittery today, and 'hangover hungry' even though I didn't have any other parts of a hangover.) I think the important thing @TJHigh is not to get wrapped up in a narrative about this one event. You've just had pretty positive meal/food experiences, one on top of another on top of another, for some 40-odd days. If you gave as much narrative weight to every single one of those moments as you're giving last night's 3-wine&snack event, then it would be clear that your ultimate trajectory or pattern is overall good, and improving. Take comfort in that; trust yourself. It's easy to let one event (that feels like and maybe is a recurrence of an old and frustrating behavior pattern) convince you that your stuck in that pattern, when you're totally not! Everybody's trajectory probably looks pretty up&down sometimes, especially when you zoom in. I would not view this as a 'failure.' It was just a decision you made, just a couple of decisions. I would try to look at how you feel a little clinically--with some objective distance. Probably not entirely related to the food/wine, like you said, significantly psychological, and probably stress about work stress (a cyclical little devil). Even if it takes you a couple days to get out of the funk, I think you will! Wishing you well.
  10. chichi

    Here goes!

    Right?? This is the first post-W30 where I'm not looking at croissants like potential land mines. Multiple times I've been offered dessert--even gluten free, 'natural sugar' brownies with blackberries (all sugar ultimately comes from plants, as long as it's not corn syrup I don't think the difference matters that much) --and I've thought, is this really special? Am I really going to enjoy it? Do I feel like I have to eat this, out of social obligation, or some brain habit of getting dessert after a meal? And so far, it hasn't been really special, and any desire I might have to eat is just to avoid social awkwardness.
  11. chichi

    Here goes!

    @hotwheels I really enjoy those monster salad bar places, especially now that I'm not worried about whether sunflower seeds are roasted in peanut oil, etc. It's totally worth the $15 bucks sometimes to have a giant slaw/salad bowl with 20 ingredients prepped by somebody else. (And yeah, no dishes!!) @TJHigh It's amazing how your body recovers after you've eaten without much sugar for ~40 days, I think you'll be right back off your sugar train when you go to your 2 days of W30 food.
  12. chichi

    Here goes!

    That you're excited for a negative symptom is pretty funny! I get it, though. It makes me curious--what made you take the Whole 30 trek in the first place? Or come back to it? If you don't seem to have much in the way of negative reactions to any of the major food groups that this eliminates. I'm experiencing the same thing with my legume testing--kind of don't really want to eat the legume foods right now, but I DO want to test my reaction in a 'controlled environment' so I'm making myself, because at some point, I'll like to have the option of hummus at a restaurant with few options. (I also had sweetened pickle relish and regular barbeque sauce for the super bowl... it was GROSS. I've never been that crazy for barbeque sauce but I will def have no qualms about turning it down in the future.)
  13. chichi

    Here goes!

    @TJHigh I suspect the desire to snack has something to do with the change in blood sugar that goes along with (in my case) occasional added sugar and (in your case) wine, not just the psychological component. Like you said, nuts and dried fruit is objectively better than jelly beans or something, but the mental cloud around the snacking is the part I hate most, and if that comes back, I'm still in the same boat, even if the snacks are comprised of unsweetened dried mango and pistachios (for now). It just opens the door a crack, and it's a lot of work pushing it closed over and over again. The reason I pursued this whole thing in the very beginning was to use my brain for my life outside of food rumination and obsession. It's like a fine line to navigate, being always prepared to feed yourself well, and not succumbing to constant food planning, obsessing, ruminating. I think eating out at solid places is a good idea. Literally not having to shred the carrots for my salad and wash the grater is a wonderful treat. Grocery shopping always helps push me back into the rhythm of kitchen management, too, like it's just another chore and sometimes I get behind on folding laundry or whatever but I don't panic that I'm never going to be able to fold all the laundry again, which is for whatever reason where my brain goes when I get behind on food prep: I'll never be able to do this! Yes, I will, and sometimes I'll be on top of it, and sometimes I won't, like the rest of my life, and it's fine, no need to tip the boat about it.
  14. chichi

    Here goes!

    I'm still following. For my reintro roll I had soy sauce for the first time today with lunch, as well as mixed nuts that may have had soybean oil on my salad at dinner. So far, nothing digestive to report, and I'm really hopeful that holds true. I don't need to eat soy sauce every day or even every week; I just like the option of ordering at an Asian restaurant. My energy levels have been pretty normal with the occasional added sugar--sweetened cranberries in jerky the other day, ketchup with potatoes yesterday, etc, other than feeling lethargic today but I'm on the tail end of a cold and stayed up late with friends so, as expected. I think the thing I'm experiencing is like, now that I'm not officially on the W30, my dedication to and enthusiasm for meal prep is waning (it did during, too, maybe it's just cyclical), and I don't think I ate quite enough the last two days. Don't have cravings for something sweet, or snacks, just want like MORE roasted veg under my eggs, but ran out of prepped food and ripe avocadoes etc so just didn't pursue more. It's good that I don't just pour tortilla chips on my plate, but not eating quite enough out of laziness is a cycle I let myself fall into often, which leads inevitably to panic hunger at some point when work stretches out and I don't have stuff ready, and then yeah, I end up eating chips or whatever, literally whatever I can get, and have to work really hard not to crash after that. Do you ever experience flagging enthusiasm for your planning? It feels like so much... vigilance. The part where you're off the rules, which is the way I need it work for me (LOL I'm never making a list that says "have a relaxing breakfast") is the scary part! This helps, though, continuing to check in and hopefully, gradually get comfortable out here in the world again.
  15. You happen to have been on Day 10, as well, a pretty rough day in general for a lot of people. Something about that transition period between the hangover and tiger blood, a couple of Why-Am-I-Here-Wednesdays in a row. Everything seems inordinately frustrating. I really like the empowering rephrasing of day 12 of 42! Not failing/starting over, going forward! Look forward! A good lesson for life after your rules are over, too. I've had some miscommunications about what can and can't go in dinners and found out this tasted so weird because it was cooked in butter... Really, really infuriating. But I think the benefits still outweigh the frustrations. A lot of people will attest to that. I like to use an analogy for mental moments like this: When you trip a little going up the stairs, do you just tuck and roll, tumbling down the stairs, thinking "I'm a failure, I should never have tried!"? Probably not. Probably, you just recover your balance, and commence climbing again, one foot after another.