Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Breakfast foods?

I've been making an effort to eat more protein at breakfast.  (Specifically, at least 20 grams) This seems to be working well.  It's very filling and it seems to last awhile, not to mention it reduces cravings by stabilizing blood sugar.

I'm a creature of habit, so eating the same thing for breakfast every day for a while is fine with me.  Eventually, I get sick of that though.  I've been eating two veggie sausage patties on a whole grain bun and a carton of low carb yogurt.  This has about 28 grams of protein and 350 calories.

In searching for some other breakfast ideas, I've experimented with 0% fat greek yogurt.  It is a "super food" with a ton of protein and many health benefits.  I had never tried greet yogurt until very recently.  I don't hate it, but I can't say I really like it very much. I'm hoping to find a way to fix it that I like though; specifically for breakfast.  So far, the only variation I've really liked was a mexican veggie dip with greek yogurt, salsa and taco seasoning, and that isn't very appealing at breakfast!

I've tried mixing greek yogurt with chopped apples, cinnamon, and almonds.  I've also tried it with pineapple.  I don't really like the tart/sour taste of the yogurt.  Any ideas?  Also - any ideas for a protein rich breakfast that doesn't involve eggs?  (I hate eggs.  Yuck.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

making the choice to fight

After I posted this morning, I made the choice to fight.  I left my debit card, credit card, and cash at home when I left for work.  No money, no food.  I ate healthy at breakfast and lunch.  No sugar, no "whites", plenty of protein for fullness and steady blood sugar.  This afternoon/evening I will take care of all of the chores I need to do around the house, go for a long walk, and eat a healthy dinner.

I've always liked the quote "insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results."  Today, I choose to be sane (at least with eating!).

Am I really fighting?

Sometimes I think I'm trying to fool myself when I tell myself that I'm fighting cravings.  After I posted last night, I ate.  And ate.  And ate.  I didn't eat sugar, well other than one of my daughter's Fiber One bars, simply because there's none in the house.  However, I ate everything I could find with natural sugar.  Fruit Spread on bread (whole grain at least), raisins, a salad with mainly cheese (fat as a substitute perhaps?)

Yes, the amount of food was smaller than binges of the past.  Yes, I basically avoided sugar.  However, I was still using food for something other than fuel which is a dangerous slippery slope into the pit of food hell.  

If I'm completely honest with myself, there is a part of me that is considering buying sugary crap today.  The same sugary crap that I've been craving for the last few days.  I know it's not worth it.  I know that if I start it will lead to more and more sugar.  But the addiction monster lies to me and tells me "it will only be this once."  

Monday, March 26, 2012

white foods

I haven't had sugar since February 17, and my cravings have almost disappeared.  Until today.  Well - actually a few days ago was when they reappeared but today has been worse.  There are several specific foods I've been thinking about.  I've tried to quickly change my thought process rather than dwelling on food that I know will do harm.

I'm trying to figure out why today was worse.  I did have a small amount of white pasta at lunch today.  It was an organic frozen dinner, and I didn't read the ingredients carefully.  (I don't really like eating processed foods, but I do eat them at lunch more than I probably should.  It's a quick, calorie controlled way to eat at work.) Anyway, the meal had white pasta rather than whole wheat as I'd thought.  It was a small portion, but perhaps it was enough to bother me.

I tried quinoa for the first time tonight.  The recipe was simple; quinoa and white beans.  It was ok, but nothing special.  I think if I try it again I need to adjust the seasonings.  It was a bit bland.

Forgive my ignorance, but isn't quinoa a "brown" food rather than a "white"?  If so, I assume that the white pasta is the culprit.  I've examined the emotions that sometimes cause cravings, and none of those seem to be the problem.

It's amazing how such a small amount of a "white" food can make such a big difference!  Is this your experience?  Or does a small amount make an even bigger difference when your body isn't accustomed to it?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Peace in the Valley

Do you remember that old song?

"There'll be peace in the valley for me someday,
There'll be peace in the valley for me.
I pray no more sorrow and sadness or trouble will be,
There'll be peace in the valley for me."

Over the years, I've prayed for peace more times than I can count. Peace from an eating disorder/sugar addiction.  Peace from the constant tug of war of dysfunctional eating patterns and habits.  Peace and relief from yo-yo dieting.  Peace and happiness can't be found in food, in a bottle, through drugs, gambling, excessive shopping.....nothing material.  This peace can only be found in God.

For some reason this song came to mind today.  I don't even really like the song that much, so I'm not sure why.  I began thinking about peace.....the peace that I've had with food recently.  I long for this to remain, and I need to be constantly aware of the choices that effect this.  

Then I began wondering why the lyrics talk about peace in the valley.  After all.....valleys describe the low, difficult places in life.  Why isn't the song about peace on the mountain tops?  You know - those times when everything is smooth sailing?  The bills are paid, the kids are healthy, the job is secure?  Duh!!  What a silly question!  Of course we long for peace in the valley!  That's when we need it!  

Have you been able to find peace in your valley?  

Friday, March 16, 2012

busy week!

Wow!  This week has been very busy, but things are going well in the area of food and exercise.  I took Monday off because my daughter got her braces off.  After the appointment, I took her to her favorite place for lunch - Panera.  I love Panera too, and it is possible to make relatively healthy choices there.  (As long as you avoid the baked goods!!!!)  I chose the pick two, and got ham on whole wheat with lettuce tomato and spicy mustard along with a grilled chicken caesar salad with light ranch dressing.  Yum!

I've been a bit stressed about some issues with my son, but it hasn't caused me to stray from healthy eating. It can be so difficult to have an adult child at home!  He will be 20 at the end of this month.  He is such a great guy, and I'm proud of him.  He's working part time and taking classes at our local community college.  He plans to transfer to a physical therapy assistant program (hopefully) in fall of 2013.  College has been tough for him.  I've seen him mature quite a bit in the last year or so, though.  It is so difficult to balance allowing him to make his own choices and deal with the subsequent consequences, and assisting him when/if we think he needs some guidance.

On another subject, an area that I thought would be extremely difficult for me hasn't been so far and I hope it stays that way!  Easter candy.  Sigh.  The candy that is offered at Easter is probably the most tempting for me than any other holiday.  There are certain things that you can only find at Easter.  I won't even start naming them or else I will drool on the computer.  

My strategy is as follows:  if in a store that offers Easter candy, DON'T GO DOWN THE AISLE!!!! With the exception of a few things for my daughter and the Easter bunny that I buy for my sweet hubby every year, I don't need to buy Easter candy. Therefore, why torture myself by going down the aisle?  When I do purchase the items for my daughter and husband, if I think I need to I will ask my son to go with me for accountability.  If I'm certain that I'll be ok, I'll still wait until the last minute to buy the items so they're not in the house.  

Part 2 of operation avoid Easter candy is a continuation of my recent habit of leaving the bank card that I use for the majority of my purchases at home.  No random stops for chocolate. This has been helping, so I'll stick with this.

Part 3, and probably most important, is remembering the significance of Easter.  Easter is not about candy and bunnies.  Easter is about the fact that God sent his son here to this earth to die for my sins.  He was crucified, then was buried.  He arose, and is alive today!!!!  Makes candy seem rather insignificant, doesn't it?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

15 pounds gone!!!

I've lost 15 pounds in the past four weeks!!!  After my  recent gain, I actually thought it would take much longer for the weight to come off.  I assume the speed at which I was able to lose was due to water weight, etc.  Regardless of the reason, I'm very happy that I've lost 15 of the 21 pounds I gained.

Since the weight is coming off, and most importantly to me, I'm not having the incessant overwhelming sugar cravings that I dealt with during December and January I'm going to continue with the new habits I've made.

I tweaked my plan (low fat, low/no sugar, no "whites") a bit based on "Potatoes Not Prozac" by Kathleen DesMaisons, which I've found to be an excellent resource on sugar addiction.

Here is a quick look at my current plan:

1. Eat breakfast with protein.  (also add a complex carb, eat within an hour of waking, and never skip breakfast)
2.  Eat three meals a day that include protein.  (I know many people feel that six mini meals are best.  For the addict in me, eating more than three times a day causes problems.  That's just three more meals a day to have difficulty saying "no" when I'm full)
3.  I added Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex and Zinc to my existing Vitamins, which were Vitamin D and Calcium.
4.  Eat a potato about 1 hour before bedtime.  (This increases the serotonin in your brain)

That's my plan in a nutshell.  Sounds fairly simple, doesn't it?  Of course, there are other details but these are the main components I suppose.  It's pretty obvious that cutting out sugar tremendously cuts down on cravings, but how does some of these other aspects of the plan help?  Apparently it's all about biochemistry for sugar addicts.  All I know right now is, it's working so I'm staying with it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

pizza after your workout?

I heard something at work today that astounded me.  A local gym offers free pizza on the first Monday of every month.  No.  I'm not kidding.  Are you as astonished by the irony of this as I am?  That offer makes no sense to me at all.  Why would an establishment that is encouraging good health offer something like that?  Is it to ensure that the members stay - either because they like the free pizza or because they eat the pizza then need to work out more?

Why not offer a free massage, free bottled water, free protein shakes (yes, I know they're not all healthy)?

What surprised me almost as much as the free pizza offer was other people's reaction when this was mentioned.  As I was lifting my jaw up off the floor, I heard comments like "that's cool" and "wow!".  When I began expressing my dismay, the response was "well, you don't have to eat it if you don't want to" or "you could probably choose a veggie pizza".  The person that was sharing this lovely tidbit of news said that the pizza was from a chain that is right beside the gym, and to my knowledge it doesn't have a single healthy option.  (Yet another irony....this gym is located in a mall right beside the food court!).

Am I overreacting or is this crazy?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Too good to be true??

The past two weeks have quite likely been the best weeks I've ever had (in relation to food).  The cravings are easily kept at bay.  I feel good emotionally, physically and spiritually.  I also feel very confidant and optimistic that I can make sugar addiction a part of my past, and a healthy relationship with food a part of my current life and the future.  Yes, I am of the opinion that once an addict always an addict.  However, I also believe that a person can overcome an addiction and have a lifetime of success at this.

There is still a small part of me that says "you've had similar feelings before."  "Do you really think you can maintain sane, healthy habits for the rest of your life?" "Can you avoid sugar for the rest of your life?"

I don't know the answers to these questions.  I can only take things one day at a time.  Actually, it's more like one food choice at a time.  I don't have to decide if I'm going to avoid sugar for the rest of my life.  All I have to do at this very minute is make a decision about dinner tonight.  And my decision is to treat my body with respect and eat black bean soup, some veggies, and some fruit.  Tomorrow morning I only have to decide about breakfast.  One food choice at a time.