Sugar Dragon Slayers


littleg

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I think corn reintroduction is going to be tomorrow. Mainly because I want popcorn. Should I just do popcorn or give corn a fair shake by including it all three meals? I was thinking of adding some whole kernel corn at M1, homemade corn tortillas with masa harina at M2 and the popcorn during Graham Family Movie Night. Man, hear reintroductions, the most important part of the program, are darn tricky! On the one hand, in really only doing it for the popcorn. On the other, I'm still in a very structured mostly whole30 phase where it's easy to do reintroductions isolated from other foods...

Appreciate any thoughts. I guess I'm in the same boat as Sara with this!

I did a corn day. Tortilla chips (just corn, salt, oil) at one meal, popcorn (just corn, oil, salt) at another. Would have done whole corn but forgot to buy it in time to have for breakfast!

I'm continuing not to "snack" (by choice) so my reintroductions are part of a meal (had the popcorn as a first course for dinner). This is easy for me in the evening as I must finish eating by 7:30 or so as part of my acid reflux prevention protocol. (Not eating after dinner has made a lot of other things easier, so although I'm sorry I got acid reflux, I'm glad it motivated me to make this change.)

I also plate (or "bowl") everything and don't eat anything out of a bag or jar. This is part of my mindful eating project. :-)

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Ali - I did a bunch of reading (sorry, articles, I know they aren't your favorite) from the researcher of this article

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19945961

 

I quit crossfit because I was convinced that I had silent anovolution (period each month but not actually ovulating).  The research is based on pretty small sample sizes but I think that both of us fit the profile pretty well - normal body weight, pretty intense exercise, maybe some caloric restriction from time to time... just something to consider.  Keep trying for now but when you are ready to *really* try, taking marathon training off the table might be necessary.  But hopefully not :)

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Thanks everyone! I'll write more when I get to a PC but for now here is my 4yo eating his Whole30 breakfast of ham, scrambled egg and avocado. He also had a clementine and apple slices. I could only get two bites of sautéed zucchini into him but overall I'm pleased!attachicon.gifimage.jpeg

So cute!

(I want the pajamas AND the fork!)

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Alison -- I meant to tell you, re: the instant pot: Have you used the price tracker for amazon? www.camelcamelcamel.com

You copy and paste the URL of any product page, and it will give you the price history of that item. You can also then have them email you when an item reaches a particular price or lower. You do not have to create an account, it is a free service, and I use it ALL THE TIME for items we want but are not in a hurry for.

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Lauren - cute lil' pumpkin! Well done on a healthy breakfast!

 

Laura - I'm so sorry that you have been through this tremendously long season of waiting. Prayers that this is the year!

 

Art - Love the idea that you plate (or bowl) everything. That would definitely help with mindful eating.

 

Brewer - I've never heard of that website - had NO idea such a thing existed! Thanks for the heads up!

 

I've had a really good day. So far, I've observed no adverse effects from the small amount of parmesan in the salad I ate on 12/31. I walked on the treadmill at the gym today bc my boys wanted to go shoot baskets and I thought I'd enjoy walking inside today since it's cold (for Austin) and damp. I felt so upbeat after doing that and have felt upbeat all day. My daughter left this afternoon to go to Italy with her college for the Jan term, so that is a little sad (bc she won't be home again but will go straight back to school to start classes when they return to the U.S.). But I'm so happy that she is so happy at her school and this Christmas break was so. much. better. than last year's, and she gets to travel, for crying out loud, so it's all good.

 

I'm telling you, my mood has not been this good (until I started my Whole 30 in December) in months. Yay Whole 30!

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Sara, it sounds like you've got the Tiger Blood!! I'm so glad you are feeling good and happy! :) I'm glad you had no adverse effects from the dairy--woohoo! And how cool is it that your daughter gets to go to Italy?! Where is she going exactly? For how long? Is this a study abroad trip? My husband and I went on a Mediterranean cruise in June 2015 and started in Venice. We cruised to Istanbul, Turkey, Mykonos and Athens, Greece, then up the west side of Italy, hitting Naples, a port that led us via bus to Rome, and Livorno/Pisa. We had one day in France but didn't disembark and left out of Barcelona, Spain. It was our last huge trip before trying to get pregnant. Man, it was fun! Once in a lifetime! But now that we are still not pregnant I am trying to talk my husband into taking me on another fun trip. I'm thinking Hawaii. ;)

Laura--the marathon training is definitely something to think about. The run is in March, so I am going to finish that and then figure out what to do from there. I meet with my new OBGYN in late February, about 3 weeks before the race, so I bet she will tell me to go ahead and race it and then probably decrease my intensity so my body's efforts can be shunted to fertility issues. I have been using an ovulation test too (to determine if I am even ovulating) and so far nothing. But without getting my monthly cycle, that's really no big surprise. I wish you the best of luck as well. What would be awesome is if we got pregnant at the same time!

Brewer--thanks for the Amazon tracker. I will have to check into that. I'd like the pressure cooker, but since the price is all over the place I don't want to buy it one day and then have its price drop the next and feel like I could have saved some money. I'm not cheap, but you gotta shop the deals and sales!

Lauren--your little one is so cute! What a great breakfast! Good for you for starting the healthy eating habits young. And avocado is SO GOOD! Mmmmm. How was New Years in Korea? Do they celebrate just like we do in the western part of the world? Midnight countdown and a glass of bubbly?

I am still Whole 30 compliant. Last night after dinner I had a banana with a huge spoonful of organic sunflower nut butter. I've been eating nuts every other day and have been doing fine with it. Moderation. I ate the sun nut butter with a huge spoon from the jar. Usually I measure out a serving of 2 T. but all of my spoons were dirty in the dishwasher. So, huge heaping spoon it was. Then I put the jar away. I know it's not a 'best' option to do that but I also do know that it's a 'better than' option. I kept a log of all of the foods I ate in 2015 (minus 6 weeks where I was logging them into MFP and just felt like double documenting food was taking over my life.) I looked at the sugar binge days and I would eat anywhere from 4 pieces of cake to 6 cookies, and even one day I ate 10 cookies. That's probably 1300 calories in one day, just from cookies. Yikes. Anyway, I feel like the banana and sun nut butter weren't great, but they were sure better than 4 pieces of cake or 10 cookies! Is this way of thinking ok, or am I enabling myself to eat a snack when not really hungry just because I want it? I wasn't craving...I just wanted the snack. My husband and I were watching a movie last night, so it was my movie snack (even though I had just finished a filling meal and wasn't really hungry.)

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I wasn't craving...I just wanted the snack.

 

 

Alison -- I am making no judgements one way or another.  That is for you to decide.  But I just want to point out that this IS a craving.  I have seen this rationale on the forum elsewhere, in regards to ice cream -- "It's not a craving, I just want it."  

 

Okay.  You just want it, and nothing else is really going to fit the bill...  You know that you could eat other things from the kitchen and they're not quite going to hit the spot.  If you stop and think about what is going on in your brain ~ this is sort of the definition of a craving.  This is why the Whole 30 has the "fish and broccoli" test.  <--- And I've used that in the past.  Guess what?  I could eat a HUGE plate of fish and broccoli and still have _________ on my mind.  Craving.

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B--I see your point, but I don't entirely agree (for the first time ever.) When I think of a craving, I think of something that I have to fight hard to not give into, something that is on my mind, something that I want but actually really don't want. I know I shouldn't eat the food, but still have a hard time not giving in, despite what I know the consequences are. There's the lack of control when it comes to a craving.

However, eating a snack, such as a handful of raw cashews, a tub of popcorn slathered with ghee, or a banana with nut butter, is acceptable I think. I don't think every single meal has to be so rigidly structured to not allow any wiggle room or 'fun time' with foods. I think it's perfectly acceptable to ocassionally eat something just because you want it. Not because you are craving or lack control, but just because you want something you enjoy eating, even though it might not be template worthy or optimal timing related to meals. Because my definition of craving is something that I want but don't want and something that I have to fight against in order to not give in and feel guilty about it later, I do not think this was a craving. I was watching a movie. I didn't have any popcorn, and even though I haven't reintroduced anything yet I may have had some...but maybe not. I just wanted a treat to eat with the movie.

When it comes to deciding whether I am hungry or craving, the fish and broccoli test is useful. It has saved me from giving into cravings before. However, I wasn't trying to decide hunger. I had just had a compliant meal and knew that although I wasn't hungry I still wanted a little something extra with the movie. I think limiting ourselves to the perfect template meals three times a day will leave us feeling so structured and rigid that when we do occasionally eat something extra it might lead us to feel bad about those choices, even though it was a banana and nut butter (this was me yesterday and this morning, I guess--feeling kindof guilty.) THIS is disordered eating. While I do agree that we have to be mindful of what we are eating, and the reasons behind them, I also think it's a good point to make that rigid, structured, don't-color-outside-of-the-lines eating is not necessary and can even lead to obsession and disordered thinking about eating.

I have decided to not feel bad about the snack I ate last night after all. Obsession and second guessing definitely lead straight to eating disorders for me.

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I have decided to not feel bad about the snack I ate last night after all. Obsession and second guessing definitely lead straight to eating disorders for me.

 

Since you posted here about it, it was clearly something you needed to work through.  Glad I could help you decide, so you can move on.  :)

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Yes, thank you. I do appreciate your feedback and help. :)

 

I have already been where you are, with the fruit and the butters.  I have already done the rationalizing of "less bad" choices.  It was a pretty serious struggle, which I would not have admitted and did not fully realize, at the time.  It's only since those things no longer have any sort of hold on me, that I am able to see them for what they really were.  And I am glad to be free of it.

 

We all have to decide what we are comfortable with, what our own personal rules are.  You don't agree with my definition of craving, because you still see banana and sun butter as a perfectly acceptable bedtime snack.  You don't have to fight against it too much -- because in your mind, it's "healthy".  

 

...But what if, in your mind, that snack was no longer seen as "healthy", and you really did not want to have it?  I think that is the difference here.  It's not that we have different definitions of craving -- it's just that you have decided banana and sun butter is not something you are going to struggle against.  You don't put it in the same category as ice cream, cookies, cake, or baking.  ...and I didn't either.  But eventually, I had to.

 

At this point in your life, that may sound disordered to you.  (?)  Further down the road, after you've had your own experiences, it may be crystal clear.

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(this was me yesterday and this morning, I guess--feeling kindof guilty.) THIS is disordered eating.

 

 

I just came back to re-read our posts, and I just wanted to clarify that the choices I have made for myself have nothing to do with guilt.  

 

I have eaten A LOT of different things in the past few years ...  and I wouldn't say I felt "guilt" about any of it.  

 

We have to observe how foods make us feel -- not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, as well.  

 

I think it's important to really think about why you feel guilt in relation to food.  

 

You are no longer logging your food here, so no one else needed to know about your movie snack.  That means you are only accountable to yourself now.  Did you feel guilty because you are letting yourself down -- not following one of your own self-imposed rules?  At some point, you decided it was an important one to follow...  and now, you are talking yourself out of it?  Is this where your guilt comes from?

 

You asked:  "Is this way of thinking ok, or am I enabling myself to eat a snack when not really hungry just because I want it?"

 

And in your response to me, you answered your own question.  You've answered yes to both parts of that question.  I would just ask you:  Is this really you talking, or is this your sugar dragon?  

 

"Tough love"... yep.  That's because this is the Sugar Dragon Slayers thread, and Laura asked me to be here to help.

 

Feel free to ask me to leave at any time.   :)

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B--short post for now.

Whether I agree or disagree with what you say, I definitely always value your opinion. You have valuable insight into Whole 30/Paleo/Keto nutrition, and your opinions, guidance, recommended resources, and personal experience are always appreciated and thought-provoking. I hope you don't go anywhere. ;)

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Lauren - I say it's definitely worth it to work on baby steps with your husband and son's diet. Think about the impact you can have on your son, especially! He's still little! Bit by bit, you can impact his thinking to where "it's just normal" that he eats primarily gluten and dairy free.

 

...I find it a challenge to find the line between moving in a positive direction and being the food-nazi ("we have nothing good to eat - EVER"). Ultimately, it seems that "buy in" is the key to long term change. As with ourselves, external rules don't last. But when kids are little, you have greater ability to determine what they think of as the norm.

 

I also agree that the reintro process is a little tricky. Going "whole hog" the way that the program suggests is probably the best way. We followed Whole 30 rules strictly while doing the 30 days, so why not with the reintros. I think. But there is the side of trying a small amount of something bc that would be the normal way it might show up in our food in the future. Idk.

 

Last night, we went to dinner with some family who was in town and I got a bun-less burger and added avocado. No big deal. But - what was I thinking??? - I got sweet potato fries with it and ate them all. I know better than that. I need to keep the Whole 30/lower carb mindset - I think about all of this a lot of the time - I'm not sure how I spaced out like that. Just because fries are made from sweet potato doesn't mean they are a good choice. And I know that unprocessed sweet potato that I make at home with coconut oil is a heck of a better choice. Doh.

Sara, thanks for your thoughts, and I know Brewer chimed in below, as well, that it IS worth it to make small changes in my family's diet even if I can't/don't get them to "full Paleo" or "full Whole30."  My kid definitely has a different idea of "normal."  When he sees a bag of avocadoes, he's excited to make chocolate pudding (he also eats just plain cut up avocado).  He helped me make homemade corn tortillas yesterday and a batch of egg "muffins" (mini-frittatas) on Friday for New Year's day breakfast.  He loved our turn-handle spiralizer to make zucchini noodles (it broke and we've got a handheld one now).  He just watched "Ratatouille" and is pretty excited about cooking, and believes/knows you can make ANYTHING at home (we were trying to teach him the concept of "from scratch" last night).  I have to rein in his creativity, sometimes.

 

Don't beat yourself up too much about the sweet potato fries.  I know I would have done the same thing (and had the same regrets - you can see I had a similar experience with popcorn in my reintro thread).  Thank goodness Whole30 gets us thinking about the mindless consumption part and our emotional relationship with food, too.  Let us know if we can help you with this in some way, other than being here for accountability and introspection.

 

...But I've got to stop the enabling. It's still new, so it's kindof a trial-and-error thing right now. Hopefully I don't come off as a Paleo nazi!

Does that sound harsh or extreme?

Ali, I think any time we try to set up and enforce boundaries and/or stop enabling behaviours, we perceive it as harsh or extreme.  We provide the "unhealthy" foods as a form of love (and we also provide the healthy foods as a form of love, because we want our loved ones to be HEALTHY and have long lives), and when we withdraw those foods and baked goods, we feel as though we are withdrawing our love and that in turn, WE will be loved less.  I'm having a hard time with this, too.  My husband got accustomed to me planning his meals via MFP, which I was doing for him to do IIFYM.  I would log into his account, plan his meals, and he just had to eat the foods I said (how easy is THAT?  As if someone would ever do that for ME, for free!).  Now, I want to keep planning his meals, but as a way to get him to eat closer to Whole30.  He wants some of the same Frankenfoods (think "healthy" Quest bars) and fruit and dairy-laden smoothies as before.  I can't in good conscience plan those things for him, but he won't wholesale give them up even if I plan an alternative, and left to his own devices, that's what he's going to eat.  I have to detach from this and let him eat what he wants (he's a grown man!), and just focus on preparing Paleo/Whole30 choices for when we eat together (dinner and weekend meals).

 

I just wanted to pop in and say that all of these small changes can and do add up to one BIG change.

 

A few years ago (just over 3) -- we thought we ate "pretty healthy".  We certainly ate healthier than any other family we knew.  That has always been the case, as I have been passionate about nutrition for ~14 years or so.

 

...That quickly turned into 6 solid months, where we all felt so good that we did not go to ANY restaurant -- not even once.  I also did not leave my kitchen in that time -- except to go to the grocery store, and then I was right back to the kitchen.   :wacko:   

 

...So I guess I just wanted to give a shout of encouragement -- to keep making changes wherever you can, keep reading, learning, and improving... As we all know, real life isn't about rules -- it's about making choices.  Sometimes they're good, sometimes they're not so good, but we learn from them and move on.

Thanks for the encouragement, Brewer!  I can relate to the "healthier than any other family."  It makes me so, so sad to see what is in my neighbour's cupboards (not that I usually rifle through cupboards, but while cat-sitting I had to go on the hunt for some cleaning supplies after the cat threw up).  This is mom, dad and two kids (aged 4 and <2).  They have: Froot Loops, Honey Nut Cheerios, Pop-Tarts, some sort of chocolate cereal shaped like squares, chocolate chip granola bars, Quaker flavoured instant oatmeal packs (maybe this the "healthy" choice for mom and dad?), fruit snacks sweetened with fruit juice concentrate, Snicker's Bars, Twix bars, tortilla chips, etc.  Do those kids have any chance to grow up NOT addicted to sugar?  Sigh.  And I'm not close enough with them to say anything.  I have and will continue to invite them for dinner - my cooking is probably quite "exotic" to them!

 

And also the idea of never leaving the kitchen.  I have prepared an inordinate amount of food (and done a corresponding inordinate amount of dishes) in the past six weeks (honestly, the past year since with IIFYM I needed to know the exact quantity and composition of everything I ate). 

 

Things are pretty crazy in my fridge right now (in a good way).  I have the following on hand: homemade cranberry sauce (sweetened with maple syrup so still a bit dangerous), homemade mayo, homemade chocolate syrup (for my son, so far ;) ), homemade chicken soup/bone broth, leftover cauliflower rice, leftover taco beef, roasted squash, leftover homemade corn tortillas, leftover Paleo Butter Chicken, cooked chicken breasts, half a dozen hard-boiled eggs, leftover egg "muffins" (mini-frittatas), plus all of our "regular" food & condiments (some very SAD, some not-so-SAD).  :D

 

I did a corn day. Tortilla chips (just corn, salt, oil) at one meal, popcorn (just corn, oil, salt) at another. Would have done whole corn but forgot to buy it in time to have for breakfast!

I'm continuing not to "snack" (by choice) so my reintroductions are part of a meal (had the popcorn as a first course for dinner). This is easy for me in the evening as I must finish eating by 7:30 or so as part of my acid reflux prevention protocol. (Not eating after dinner has made a lot of other things easier, so although I'm sorry I got acid reflux, I'm glad it motivated me to make this change.)

I also plate (or "bowl") everything and don't eat anything out of a bag or jar. This is part of my mindful eating project. :-)

Hi, Elizabeth!  Good to see you here.  I do remember your corn day, and I was motivated by both popcorn AND the corn that shows up in some wonderful soups, salads and chili (as I believe you were).  I am learning (the hard way, as per usual) that night-time snacking does NOT work for me. 

 

So cute!

(I want the pajamas AND the fork!)

Thank you!  It gets even better - those pajamas glow in the dark!

 

...But now that we are still not pregnant I am trying to talk my husband into taking me on another fun trip. I'm thinking Hawaii. ;)

Lauren--your little one is so cute! What a great breakfast! Good for you for starting the healthy eating habits young. And avocado is SO GOOD! Mmmmm. How was New Years in Korea? Do they celebrate just like we do in the western part of the world? Midnight countdown and a glass of bubbly?

 ...I wasn't craving...I just wanted the snack.

Yes, yes to Hawaii!  This is the Graham Family De-mobilization (i.e., when we leave from South Korea for good) vacation plan.  I have promised my family that whenever we leave, we are stopping in Hawaii for two weeks (since we will be flying over the Pacific anyway).

 

NYE was low-key - we went to see Star Wars.  I don't think the celebrations are quite as crazy; the bigger deal is to actually get up early on New Year's Day to catch the first sunrise of the year (or maybe people just stay awake from the night before?).  Mind you, you might learn when you are a parent that NYE are always more low-key, after children!  There was probably the same partying and drinking and dancing and midnight countdown in lots of clubs.  But the really, really big deal in Asia is the Lunar New Year celebrations.  This year, the Lunar New Year is celebrated February 7-10, 2016.  This is a much bigger deal than Christmas and December 31.  People all travel to be with their families and they have a bunch of special traditions (food and gifts and honouring their ancestors).

 

AND to your final point - I did read the discussion that ensued with Brewer.  I struggled with this over the past year, while in the "confines" of IIFYM and now with Whole30.  There were times when I thought "I just want to eat X" or "I just want to eat at this particular time."  It wasn't even so much about craving a particular food, necessarily.  It was just recognizing that there are certain times you want to eat just because it tastes good or just because it's a socially-conditioned time to eat or just because it's fun or because you're bored or WHATEVER.  Writing it out like that, THAT actually sounds disordered from a pure physical sense (detached from true physical hunger/ needing to fuel your body).  But agonizing over it and needing to justify or rationalize it also sounds disordered from a psychological perspective.  Right now, I agree that you should be able to occasionally do that "just because" and move on.  Food has for millennia been a celebrated part of cultures all over the globe, without being JUST about sustenance.  I wasn't going to mention it, because I owned it and moved on, but last night I had an extra serving of butter chicken JUST BECAUSE it tasted delicious.  Not because I needed the calories or any other nutrient.

 

Phew, what a novel!

 

Thanks for reading, if you made it this far!

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Oh, and my number-one takeaway from "That Sugar Film": the brain research on the dopamine hit when you so much as SEE a "trigger" food (the milkshake in the movie).  As I mentioned, I stopped following food dessert bloggers on Instagram.  So now I mostly see Whole30 and Paleo cooking (vs. baking) recipes.  My Pinterest feed has been a bit harder to "clean up" as it seems that Paleo baked goods (or gluten-free/grain-free) are INSANELY popular, even though I am NOT following any of those bloggers and I am not following Paleo baking. 

 

Anyway, I was scrolling through Pinterest on Saturday night after watching the film and decided that I was hungry and needed one more little dish of coconut butter and macadamia nuts (I think I mentioned I was having that at every meal since I felt hungrier but wanted to avoid starchy carbs).  At the time, I chalked it up to more "PMS-hunger" but then I had a terrible hot & sweaty sleep.  I think it was actually all of the images of baked goods in Pinterest that got me subconsciously on the prowl for food to get the dopamine hit.  I got it from healthy fats vs. carbs, but it was not food I NEEDED.

 

So, I learned that I need to be mindful of the timing, frequency and volume of my Pinterest consumption!

 

P.S. - Ali, here is the link for the eggnog.  I made it with a mix of almond milk and coconut milk but found the latter to be much more delicious - the almond milk imparted a weird flavor.  Since coconut milk is so rich, you might consider using a version with less than full-fat.  I also needed more than 1 tsp. of maple syrup for it to be palatable.  Tread carefully here - you might find the sugar makes it "drink with no brakes." 

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Argh.  I'm so conflicted.  Part of my wants to tell Ali to go ahead and enjoy that banana/nut butter dessert.  Food does not just have to be fuel.  You are entitled to allow it to add joy to your life.  Think of how sad everyone in S. Korea would be if we said "no more buttered squid!" ;)  Oh, and Lauren, I want those jammies!!

 

But on the other hand if you are going to eat it you have to be *OK* with it.  Sara posted that quote along the lines of don't think "what do I want to eat?" think "how do I want to feel?".  But especially for us, sugar clearly makes us feel bad.  Not just physically but emotionally - even before the sugar is even digested (or has even entered our mouths) we've got these mind games going on... can I eat this?  Should I eat this?  I have to tell people I ate this... What else am I going to want to eat if I eat this...?  

 

Is ketosis the answer?  Mental training?  I don't know.  

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Argh.  I'm so conflicted.  Part of my wants to tell Ali to go ahead and enjoy that banana/nut butter dessert.  Food does not just have to be fuel.  You are entitled to allow it to add joy to your life.  Think of how sad everyone in S. Korea would be if we said "no more buttered squid!" ;)  Oh, and Lauren, I want those jammies!!

 

But on the other hand if you are going to eat it you have to be *OK* with it.  Sara posted that quote along the lines of don't think "what do I want to eat?" think "how do I want to feel?".  But especially for us, sugar clearly makes us feel bad.  Not just physically but emotionally - even before the sugar is even digested (or has even entered our mouths) we've got these mind games going on... can I eat this?  Should I eat this?  I have to tell people I ate this... What else am I going to want to eat if I eat this...?  

 

Is ketosis the answer?  Mental training?  I don't know.  

 

I've been thinking about this and trying to process my thoughts on eating this dessert and second-guessing my actions.  Here are my reasons for second-guessing eating this dessert:

 

1. I ate it when not actually hungry.  I could have stopped eating after dinner and had some herbal tea while we watched the movie and been totally fine. 

2. Fruit and nuts can prop up or reactivate a sugar addiction, and I am trying to be very cautious of doing that. 

3. Eating fruit and nuts, even with a meal, is not technically 'template' eating, according to the Whole 30.

 

I do want to continue to eat when hungry, to satiety, and no more.  I want that meal to keep me full for the 4-5 hours until the next meal.  I want to be fat-adapted and not have the blood sugar roller coaster.  I want to focus on protein, veggies, and fat, and occasionally eat fruit (0-3 servings per day) and nuts (as my tummy allows.)  BUT, I don't plan to live the perfect template life forever.  I have been completely Whole 30 compliant since the day after Thanksgiving--what is that? 38 days now?  I don't plan to stay completely compliant forever, but right now I am just feeling so darn good and I am seeing improvements in my body composition, so I really don't want to reintroduce anything at this point.  I think my issue is being OK with not being perfect in what I eat, when I eat, etc.  If I expect perfection in myself, striving to eat the perfect template meal 3 times a day, have the perfect template pre- and post-WO meals, etc., then I am setting myself up for failure.  While that would be a great goal, nobody is perfect and to ask that of myself is not fair.  I need to learn to be OK with rarely easing up on the Whole 30 rules, and learn to do a Whole Ali.  I am not going to give myself permission or enable myself to eat treats or desserts or whatever I want, even if they fit the Whole 30 guidelines or template.  However, I have decided that a dessert or treat just for the sake of eating something yummy and delicious and pleasing to me once in a while is OK, and that I am not going to feel bad or guilty about it.  I do suppose that eating something when not actually hungry could be considered disordered eating because I am physically shoving more food into my stomach then I need at that time.  But, like Lauren suggested, second-guessing myself and feeling guilty about not eating perfectly and having a snack is also disordered, in a psychological way.  Perhaps what I should do next time, if I can plan it, is to have a little bit less at dinner so that I can include my dessert as part of my meal, and not be over-full.  I think the Whole 30 is very good at making us ask questions to ourselves of why and I eating this, should I be eating this now, am I really hungry, etc. and it is very good at giving us introspection.  I think this is why I am thinking so much about this, and I think it's a good think to contemplate food choices, especially before consuming them.  I've still got to learn how to not be perfect and not feel bad about it.  I am still not sure what I should do, when this issue comes up in the future...

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Oh, and my number-one takeaway from "That Sugar Film": the brain research on the dopamine hit when you so much as SEE a "trigger" food (the milkshake in the movie).  As I mentioned, I stopped following food dessert bloggers on Instagram.  So now I mostly see Whole30 and Paleo cooking (vs. baking) recipes.  My Pinterest feed has been a bit harder to "clean up" as it seems that Paleo baked goods (or gluten-free/grain-free) are INSANELY popular, even though I am NOT following any of those bloggers and I am not following Paleo baking. 

 

Anyway, I was scrolling through Pinterest on Saturday night after watching the film and decided that I was hungry and needed one more little dish of coconut butter and macadamia nuts (I think I mentioned I was having that at every meal since I felt hungrier but wanted to avoid starchy carbs).  At the time, I chalked it up to more "PMS-hunger" but then I had a terrible hot & sweaty sleep.  I think it was actually all of the images of baked goods in Pinterest that got me subconsciously on the prowl for food to get the dopamine hit.  I got it from healthy fats vs. carbs, but it was not food I NEEDED.

 

So, I learned that I need to be mindful of the timing, frequency and volume of my Pinterest consumption!

 

P.S. - Ali, here is the link for the eggnog.  I made it with a mix of almond milk and coconut milk but found the latter to be much more delicious - the almond milk imparted a weird flavor.  Since coconut milk is so rich, you might consider using a version with less than full-fat.  I also needed more than 1 tsp. of maple syrup for it to be palatable.  Tread carefully here - you might find the sugar makes it "drink with no brakes." 

 

Lauren, I completely know what you mean with seeing a food and having that increase your cravings or desire for food--and it doesn't even have to be the food that you see!  It doesn't have to be a milkshake!  Just because I drive by a donut shop, maybe I'll have an extra apple when I get home, even though I'm not hungry.  It's so sneaky! The advertisers are so sneaky.  When an advertisement for a food or drink comes on the TV or radio I mute it and don't look at it.  That is one tactic I have used to help me decrease my exposure to food porn. I had to make myself stop looking up recipes and stop baking so that high-sugar foods were off my mind. Sure, I still look up Paleo and Whole 30 recipes for main courses and condiments, but I don't go onto Pinterest anymore.  You are so right--the Paleo baked goods are taking over Pinterest!

 

Thanks for the eggnog link!  I am not sweetening anything right now (I am stubborn), and I'm not sure how I feel about vanilla extract (not sure how long I am going to not use booze in recipes.)  Do you think it would be good just with eggs and coconut milk?  Maybe with nutmeg and cinnamon? 

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Sara, it sounds like you've got the Tiger Blood!! I'm so glad you are feeling good and happy! :) I'm glad you had no adverse effects from the dairy--woohoo! And how cool is it that your daughter gets to go to Italy?! Where is she going exactly? For how long? Is this a study abroad trip? My husband and I went on a Mediterranean cruise in June 2015 and started in Venice. We cruised to Istanbul, Turkey, Mykonos and Athens, Greece, then up the west side of Italy, hitting Naples, a port that led us via bus to Rome, and Livorno/Pisa. We had one day in France but didn't disembark and left out of Barcelona, Spain. It was our last huge trip before trying to get pregnant. Man, it was fun! Once in a lifetime! But now that we are still not pregnant I am trying to talk my husband into taking me on another fun trip. I'm thinking Hawaii. ;)

 

Ali - my daughter is going to Rome and Florence as part of her study abroad trip. They get a travel break and she is going with some friends to the Venice area. Such an amazing experience! I'm excited for her.  Your cruise sounds fabulous! My husband and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary at the end of 2016, and we are thinking about maybe going to Hawaii at some point during the calendar year. Keep me posted if you research destinations. :)

 

 

I just came back to re-read our posts, and I just wanted to clarify that the choices I have made for myself have nothing to do with guilt.  

 

 

"Tough love"... yep.  That's because this is the Sugar Dragon Slayers thread, and Laura asked me to be here to help.

 

Feel free to ask me to leave at any time.   :)

 

Brewer - don't go anywhere! Like Ali said, I appreciate your viewpoint and want to hear it. You make me think. 

 

One thing that made me think was your comment above that your choices don't have to do with guilt. I think this fall, when I was eating some sugar and drinking too much wine, I experienced A LOT of guilt. In the psychological world, I think it's called cognitive dissonance - when we hold a particular belief but then act in contrast to that belief. This is one likely reason that I began feeling better immediately upon deciding to do a Whole 30 - because I believe in this style of eating and I started to act in accordance with that belief. Such a huge relief.

 

So Ali - this is a reason to work through what you believe about having an indulgence at times. When we act in accordance with our beliefs, we don't feel guilty. Part of that process is making observations about how we feel physically when we eat certain foods and then deciding what is worth it or not. Also, if we understand what drives us to want those indulgences (i.e. is it the sugar dragon or do we want a reward or what have you), that's another piece of the process.

 

Just some thoughts on the whole thing... :)

 

Lauren - interesting take away about the dopamine hit from just seeing the trigger food. I noticed that when it was mentioned in the film, but had not given it a lot of thought. Will have to ponder it.

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But on the other hand if you are going to eat it you have to be *OK* with it.  Sara posted that quote along the lines of don't think "what do I want to eat?" think "how do I want to feel?".  But especially for us, sugar clearly makes us feel bad.  Not just physically but emotionally - even before the sugar is even digested (or has even entered our mouths) we've got these mind games going on... can I eat this?  Should I eat this?  I have to tell people I ate this... What else am I going to want to eat if I eat this...?  

 

Is ketosis the answer?  Mental training?  I don't know.  

 

I'm with you - lots to consider here.

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My second Whole 30 -- I made a personal rule of no nuts & seeds, because I had looked forward to carrots and homemade sunflower butter almost every evening of my first. I was eating them as a dessert, after what should have been a satisfying meal. And subconsciously I KNEW IT ... Now, I am a super honest person, so I wasn't here "lying" to anyone about it -- it's just that I was not even being honest *with myself* about it. It was part of my template meal. Oh, sure. :)

So on my second Whole 30, white potatoes had just been approved. And boy, did I have fun with that. I had read Kiefer's stuff by this point -- Carb Nite and Carb Backloading -- and I was also lifting heavy. His reasoning that if you are going to have carbs, have them at night and/or after lifting, made sense to me and I incorporated it. So I was LCHF all day, and looked forward to my potato every night with my evening meal. ...No, wait... I mean, I REALLY looked forward to that potato. ...Oh, crap... I started to get hangry and even a little shaky while preparing dinner, because my body was SO looking forward to that potato. Anticipating the rush of sugar. And guess what else? Often I would finish my meal, and reason with myself that my potato really *wasn't* very big... And I would go to the kitchen and make ANOTHER potato.

^ All of this, combined with the fact that I woke up many mornings with that heavy/hungover feeling... Combined with the fact that I realized I just felt so. much. better. during the ultra low carb part of my days/weeks -- all of that is what led me to keto. That is why my 3rd (and final) Whole 30 was a Keto Whole 30.

...Anyway, just thought I'd share a little more about the mind games we play with ourselves... The justifications, etc. And my body's anticipation of that potato also fit into the discussion about the mind/body connection in relation to sugar. Because those white potatoes are glucose, plain and simple. I might as well have been anticipating a DQ Blizzard every night, because the feelings were the same. Ask me how I know. :D

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I have been doing some reading about a lab result I have which is called APOE4. It's complicated & im just getting a grasp on understanding it, but it has led me to a podcast by Chris Kresser called Carbs & Alzheimer's: Separating Fact from Fiction. Interesting & well-reasoned stuff. Kresser is a functional & integrative medicine guy, so he has a lot of training & knowledge. I recommend this podcast.

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