Random Rants and Musings from my Post W30 Life


1Maryann

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Over the years I have been on most of the diets ever devised on this planet.  Most of them left me hungry long before the next meal was due.  Because of that, I have screwy hunger signals, and frequently can ignore hunger even when there is no need to.

 

I have to schedule meals and eat, whether I think I'm hungry or not.  Otherwise, I will drink coffee for breakfast and not touch a bite until it's 2 pm and I'm so ravenous I could eat a chair leg.  I can be sitting here, with access to a fridge full of food, a stove, and a microwave, feeling hunger pangs and telling myself, "I'll eat as soon as I finish..."  Then when I'm done, instead of eating, I'll start on another task until the hunger is so uncomfortable I can't ignore it any longer.

 

I am trying to become more mindful of this.  Eating on a schedule helps.  I will tell myself it is lunchtime, then I'm surprised to realize I am actually hungry, but putting that sensation somewhere in the back of my mind and ignoring it.  What horrid and unnatural things we put our bodies through for the sake of meeting some artificial expectation like 'skinny'.  I'm hoping for the day when I can feel hunger and act on it, like a normal person.  Why the need to make myself suffer for hours first?

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  • 2 weeks later...

When will I learn that fat is the most important part of the meal for me?  I can have a ton of compliant veggies and a good portion of protein, but if I don't make sure there's a fat in there somewhere, I am hungry all day.  It just totally throws me off.  Most of the time, I'm not hungry between meals, but if I don't include a fat, it's like I can't make up for it later.  Even once I eat a meal with a proper fat, my hunger dragon has been awakened and doesn't want to go back to sleep.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Haven't been here in a while.  I was posting on our Awesome 2014 thread mostly.  I was going to extend my W30 to a W60, but upon reflection, I can't see it doing me any good. 

 

I can do a W30 in my sleep!  Easy-Peasy!  What I have trouble with is riding my own bike.  There are some things I eliminated during my W100 last year that have never made it back on my table--legumes, alcohol, and diet soda/artificial sweeteners.  There are others that I can't control.  And there are some that are 'gateway foods'.  For whatever reason, adding white potatoes somehow makes it easier to add wheat bread.  A smidge of sugar/honey/maple syrup in my coffee makes it harder to walk past the coconut milk ice cream at the grocery.

 

So I decided my new goal is to add three more items to my 'no fly list' this year.  I figure if I can go an entire year without them, I really don't need them back.  I have chosen corn, wheat, and soy.  It seemed too radical to cut out all grains forever.  Rice has no effect on me, so I would like to be able to enjoy sushi once in a while.  I also love the convenience of Trader Joe's frozen brown rice packets.  They are a quick and easy way to add some carbs to a meal in 3 minutes.  I love cauliflower rice, but on hectic nights when I get home from work starving and worn out, it is too much trouble.

 

I picked those three items because they are some of the most inflammatory foods, and because such a high percentage of the US crops are GMO.  GMOs scare me.   This is a giant experiment and we may not know for decades how unnaturally modified foods affect our health.  Someone else can be the guinea pig.

 

During my W??  (40, I think), I ate only grass-fed beef, organic chicken and eggs, and organic vegetables.  I am relaxing that just a bit as well.  I will eat conventional vegetables from the "Clean Fifteen", which I carry in my wallet.  I also plan to continue eating clean proteins, except when out to dinner.  I don't know if I really can feel the difference or if it's in my head, but I figure the less feed-lot beef I can eat, the better off I am in the long run.  After all, they live unnatural lives, are liberally dosed with growth hormones and antibiotics, and they are eating the very GMO corn I am trying to avoid.  Besides, pastured beef and free range poultry and eggs just taste better!

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Finally found the time for a respectable cook up last night.  No excuses this week!

 

I can always find a protein, even if I have to open a can of tuna.  It's the rest of the meal that bogs me down.  I try to eat at least 2-3 different veggies per meal, so having things ready to reheat is key.

 

Last night I hard boiled some eggs, made a new batch of mayo, and made egg salad.  I also made a batch of breakfast sausage.  I like to season the raw pork the night before, wrap tight in plastic wrap, and let sit overnight in the fridge.  I think the flavor is better when I fry it up the next morning.

 

I steamed a bunch of asparagus, sauteed a pound of spinach, and roasted sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and carrots.  My fridge is a sea of square storage containers.  As someone said a while back, I'll be playing Refrigerator Tetris all week.

 

Then I mixed up a dry rub and put a pork butt in the crock pot overnight and turned it into pulled pork this morning.  I do have some chicken I want to saute later this week in olive oil and garlic with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and capers, mostly because I'm craving zoodles.

 

I finally broke down and ordered a spiralizer from Amazon.  The julienne peeler works great, but the noodles are too thin, more like angel hair.  I need to be able to make something that holds up a bit better with a heavier topping.

 

I haven't posted any garden pics lately because I can't seem to email them to myself.  It keeps telling me 'authentication failed'.  I may try to upload straight to facebook, then download to my computer from there.  I dread the thought of standing in line at the Verizon store.

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The pulled pork with the dry rub I made in the crockpot came out fine.  But when I reheated it, I felt it needed a little oomph.  So I went looking for a paleo barbecue sauce that wouldn't take forever to simmer, and didn't need a dozen items I didn't have on hand.

 

Winner!  Found this one:  http://paleoperiodical.com/2013/05/15/recipe-quick-and-easy-bbq-sauce/  Whisked it together in two minutes.  I did zap it for a minute to heat it and make it meld faster.

 

Simple ingredients, and I had most on hand.  I didn't have molasses, so I added a second TBS of maple syrup (I received a bottle as a gift from someone who vacationed in Maine last summer and it has been sitting here doing nothing.)  I couldn't find my smoked paprika (how could I have run out and not known it?), so I used a tsp of regular paprika and one of chipotle powder.  Awesome!

 

The sweetest thing I've had in forever has been sweet potatoes, so at first taste it was a little on the sweet side.  That was before the chipotle kicked in!  People who don't like spicy things might have a problem with this.  It would be easy to overdo it before the heat creeps up on you.

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Today's random musing is about cravings. 

 

As someone who quit smoking almost 15 years ago, take it from me, they never completely go away.  Even today, I'll walk past someone who is smoking and for just a second I WANT that cigarette.  But by now the thought of me smoking again is so far-fetched that it's almost humorous.

 

This weekend I had to put another of my elderly dogs down, only a month after I lost the first.  I haven't had an alcoholic beverage since I did my Whole100 a year ago, but I suddenly wanted a drink.  I have found that when hit with a craving that you can't shake, it's important to break it down into the most basic components of which properties of the item you are really craving and find a solution from there.  It worked for me when the desire for a cocktail used to hit soon after arriving home from work.  I found it wasn't the drink I wanted, it was the excuse to just sit and decompress, rather than launching right in to folding laundry or fixing dinner.  Once I realized this, the cravings were no longer a threat.  I didn't want the drink, I wanted the permission to sit for a while.

 

So I examined this sudden craving for some kind of foo-foo drink.  I recognized it as a need for emotional eating (or drinking).  All my life I've soothed myself with something harmful to my body when faced with emotional matters--an adult beverage, a gallon of ice cream, an entire pepperoni pizza.  My rational mind knows these don't help, in fact they make me feel worse, so why the desire to harm myself just because I'm feeling low?

 

On closer examination, I really didn't want the alcohol, or the after effects.  But I still wanted something along the lines of a margarita or a pina colada.  My normal beverages consist of black coffee, room temperature bottled water, and an occasional can of LaCroix.  I wanted something sweeter, with more substance, and with clinky ice cubes in it (how's that for refining the problem?)  So I took myself off to the grocery store instead of the liquor store, and I bought a jar of unfiltered, organic pineapple juice and a big bottle of plain seltzer.  When I got home I got out a fancy glass, put some ice cubes in it, and mixed them half and half.  It was perfect!

 

I got the sweetness I wanted, the clinky ice cubes, and the mouth-feel of a thicker, richer beverage without doing myself any real damage.  I don't drink juice on a regular basis, in fact I don't usually care for anything sweet, so this was a solution that was special enough to feel like a treat, but kept me much closer to healthy eating than any of the alternatives. 

 

So next time you are hit with a craving that doesn't quit, instead of obsessing over that one item, ask yourself what properties of it you really want?  Is it the look, the taste, the smell, the mouth-feel, the act of consuming it?  While there are still things that cannot be replicated, many times there is a solution in something much less harmful and just as satisfying.

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Did a quick shop this evening.  I'm headed out of town Wed-Fri for a trade show, so need easy meals to take along.  The hotel has a fridge and microwave in every room, so I will bring a cooler.  I know from experience that there is nothing but stadium-type food available at the convention center, so will go back to the hotel for lunch.

 

I'm making a breakfast casserole, pieces of which are easy enough to reheat.  Paired with some avocado, tomato slices, and a touch of hot sauce, breakfasts will be taken care of.

 

I will also toss a grass-fed pot roast in the crockpot, and today I cooked off some chicken breasts.  I will make zoodles, and saute the chicken with artichokes, garlic, spinach, mushrooms, black olives, and sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil to serve over it.  We will eat out one night, probably at a Greek place we really like.  I usually get a fish dish in a tomato sauce with veggies and some steamed broccoli instead of grain.

 

The longer I do this, the easier it gets.  I remember getting ready to leave last year and how much time I spent worrying about what foods to pack.  I brought enough for an army, and far more selections than necessary.  Instead of carrying all those containers of meats and vegetables, the pot roast and the chicken over zoodles will be much easier one-dish meals.

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There's nothing better than lunch from your own garden, and nothing fresher than produce picked just minutes before eating.  I just made a salad of some organic chicken with fresh picked green buttercrunch, red bibb, rainbow chard, black kale, and gold cherry tomatoes.  Of course, I added some onion, mushroom, and avocado from Whole Foods, and a balsamic vinaigrette.  My avocado trees should start bearing next season.  I can't wait.  I wish my cukes had been ready.

 

I am determined to fine-tune this Square Foot Gardening technique.  I am still learning how much each square foot can yield.  Ideally, I will eventually figure out how much to grow and how to stagger it so I have a constant supply of fresh organic produce year-round.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Today's observation:

 

I used to be a double-cream-and-two-sweeteners coffee drinker.  Through this process, I have come to love black coffee.  I can now taste the subtle differences in different blends, where before, it all tasted the same.  I had so much junk in it, I couldn't taste the coffee.

 

While I usually drink it black, if I have an open can of coconut milk left from a recipe, I will use it rather than let it go to waste.  So this morning I added the milk, and my first sip was a shock!   Apparently, my eyes told my brain it was getting its 'old' coffee, and my taste buds were expecting it to be sweet.  So it tasted bitter and oily, instead of like the rich, fresh-ground blend I have been drinking.  The sensation went away after the first few sips, but it was surprising that after all this time (over a year) my unconscious mind still went straight for the sugar.

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Some days I just want to take pictures of my meals and send them to my food snob friend who accuses me of eating "slop in a bowl".  Today's lunch is homemade ground sausage, sweet potato chunks, wilted spinach, sauteed mushrooms, and a couple of runny fried eggs broken up and mixed in.  She would be horrified!  It tastes divine, but it wouldn't win any prizes in the presentation department.   :P:D

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  • 5 months later...

I can't believe it has been 5 months since I posted here.  Life kind of took over for a while.  I got really busy, took on another elderly rescue dog with many health issues, work got crazy, I had a foot injury that made standing for any length of time impossible, and little by little I went back to my old SAD diet. 

 

Towards the end here, I can't remember the last time I cooked anything.  Food has come from a drive-thru bag, a microwavable frozen tray, or a pizza box.  I have to come to grips with the fact that I'm a wheat addict.  As bad as it makes me feel, I just can't help myself.  If I don't allow it into my diet at all, I am fine.  But there's no such thing as "just a little".  Once I have that first bite of pasta or slice of bread, the cravings return and I can't stop myself.  I need to accept the fact that for me it is like cigarettes.  I haven't smoked in many years, but it took several backslides for me to accept that I can't just have one.  It's all or nothing.  Wheat is turning out to be the same.

 

I know from several years now of alternating clean eating with not-so-clean eating, that wheat is the most irritating of all to my gut.  Right now, my belly is ridiculously distended, and my entire gut feels sore and raw.  I could probably draw you an accurate picture of exactly what it looks like.  I can feel every inch of my intestine, and if you opened me up right now it would probably be swollen and angry.  Enough is enough.

 

After work yesterday I hit up Costco and Whole Foods.  I spent $100 restocking my fridge with healthy food.  I'm not ready to do another W30 yet, but I have to get back to cleaner eating.  I will not purchase anything this week that is ready-made.  All my food will be cooked by me.  All my proteins will be organic and/or grass fed.  My veggies will all be organic.  I need to cleanse my system of all the toxins I have been pumping into it.

 

Last night I put a stew in the crock pot before bed.  I mixed up a batch of breakfast sausage.  I think it tastes better if I leave it to rest overnight than if I cook it immediately.  The spices blend better.  I also hard-boiled a dozen eggs for use in salads or the filler in collard wraps for lunch.  Today I will cook off some chicken breasts to have on hand for lunch or a quick dinner option. 

 

I'm off to a good start.  I cooked up the sausage this morning and threw in a few handfuls of kale.  I zapped a sweet potato and fried a couple of eggs.  I know it is mostly psychological right now, but I already feel better.  Actually, it may be physical too, as it has now been almost 4 hours since breakfast and I am still pleasantly full.  Eating frozen sausage biscuits and McD's breakfast burritos have left me starving a couple of hours later.

 

This isn't a W30, I am too frugal not to use up the open jar of mayo in the fridge, but it's a start.  Here's to me!

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  • 1 month later...

Alternating old-food binging with healthy W30 eating.  Right now I'm eating post-W30ish.  No wheat, corn, sugar, dairy, or legumes.  Have been using Hellman's mayo with soybean oil.  If that's my only issue at the moment, I'm not going to worry about it.  It's much better than the way I was eating this summer.

 

Started getting my garden together, now that it isn't so beastly hot out.  Clearing out the weeds that overgrew it during the rainy season, and started some seeds.  I use the Square Foot Gardening plan.  Last year was the first time I tried it and I kept it small.  This year I plan to expand from 2 beds to hopefully 6.  My goal is to eventually raise almost all my own vegetables.  Hard to do with a 40x50 yard and 4 large dogs.  SFG is my salvation.  I can grow so much food in such a small area.  I can also grow container plants elsewhere, and am putting a SFG herb patch by my front door.  With my coconut palms, avocado trees (two kinds that fruit at different times) and the pineapple patch, I am on my way to organic self-sufficiency.  Too bad I live so close to town.  They won't let me keep chickens here.  I would love to grow my own eggs.

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  • 1 month later...

I guess I'm settling into a pattern.  Not sure I like it, but there it is.  I eat almost totally clean most of the time with no problem.  I like this way of eating, it makes me feel good, the menu is awesome, and I have tons of energy.   But about once a month, I go off the deep end for a few days--pizza, sandwiches, ice cream, etc.  Then I feel so crappy I can't wait to get back on the wagon.  I guess, in retrospect, I'm still eating far healthier than I did before I found this program, and I'm about 95% complaint, 90% of the time. I even stay in line when I eat out.  But every 30 days or so I have an uncontrollable urge to eat nothing but junk for 2-3 days. It's almost like I need the reinforcement of remembering how bad I feel when I eat the way I used to.

 

The only good thing is, unlike other diets or eating regimens I've been on, I have no trouble getting back on board.  I just pick up where I left off.  For years, I ate such narrow, restricted diets that once I cheated I couldn't bring myself to start again until I'd done tons of damage and wound up almost back to square one.

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