Sunday, May 06, 2012
This was not the kind of bread that most people eat in this country. And it did not contain any wheat. This bread was a sourdough bread made from only rye, sourdough and salt. Some of the rye was ground, some was steel-cut or even a few whole berries. It was not flavored with caraway seed as almost all rye bread is in the US or colored to make it look darker, but all-natural. I found this loaf which I had bought quite a while ago at a local bakery at the bottom of my freezer and did not want to throw it out since I myself don't seem to be gluten-intolerant. I ate 3 slices yesterday, in part because there wasn't much food in the house and I needed something to have with cheese.
A couple of interesting observations: Rye does not trigger the same types of cravings for me at all as wheat. It also does not taste good enough to really overeat on it, either. In fact in retrospect I would have preferred the cheese slices by themselves.
I did notice that I was hungry only about 2 hours later again and ended up eating a lot more all day, an experience that I had not had in several months since going low-carb except on a few days when I ate some sugar that pushed my carbs over 100 grams for the day.
Overall I have no desire to go back to eating bread. I guess I would eat bread that does not contain wheat when there is no other food available but certainly not because I particularly enjoy the taste.
I may experiment occasionally with flatbreads or pizza that is made from nut meals or coconut flour but even those are too much trouble to bother with on any regular basis. There are so many other wondeful foods to eat: a large variety of fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, dairy, meat and fish that I don't feel the need for grain products at all.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Take a look at this article that appeared in the New York Times. Lots of interesting things hidden in this article, definitely a hopeful sign:
Saturday, April 28, 2012
This is the first post I'm writing in about 3 weeks. There are lots of things that have happened that I want to write about: We have had new ducklings hatch, I've read a number of good books that I want to share, I've changed some things in my exercise routine...
but today I want to talk about something else. I call it a sermon because it is adressed primarily to my fellow Christians (I don't actually like this term but that's another story). But it is the term most commonly used to refer to followers of Jesus Christ, of which I am one.
The reason it is addressed mostly to Christians is because the issue I am planning to address is one that mostly Christians misunderstand. In fact I believe most people know that what I am about to say is true and relevant but it is in the background of their minds with disastrous consequences for this world.
It is this: Most Christians in the industrialized world act as if God were in church either all or most of the time. That's where they focus most of their attention when it comes to their spiritual life.
But consider this:
God made the World in all its natural beauty and intricate design, People built Churches
Jesus came into the World, not into the Churches
God so loved the World, that he gave His only begotten Son...
God is absolutely delighted with his Creation which includes Man, in spite of the fact that neither are perfect any more, the way he originally designed them.
Those that want to follow Jesus and consider themselves God's children along with Jesus should start acting more like his family by going into the world where they will find Him at work everywhere and can join him in what He is doing, in all venues, in all people groups, on the internet including on Spark, in schools, in businesses, in politics, in nature, in neighborhoods. In fact God is working wherever good things are happening, whether we are aware of it or not. It is a matter of personal listening to that quiet voice of truth in our hearts to know where we are called to join and the answer is different for everyone.
Just stop focusing on looking for God in churches.
I know that the word church can have two meanings: The one is that of a building. Buildings are useful to have at times but they are merely a tool. The other meaning of the word church is that of God's family, the community of believers that is in spiritual unity under the leadership of Christ, regardless of affiliation, denomination or location. It is world-wide and extremely powerful because it is lead by the Almighty. The organization of churches into denominations, dioceses, congregations and any other groups is primarily man-made and limited in its reach. It has its limited usefulness but should not be the primary way to for us to join Jesus in what He is doing.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."John 1: 1-5
Life and light for the world is what Jesus is about, also faith, hope and love, described so beautifully in 1. Cor. chapter 13. Let us join Jesus in the world and add joy, hope, love and faith where we can and watch them multiply. The result will be more peace in our hearts and around us.
And here is a little of the joy that I have experienced in the last week that I want to share with you:
Saturday, April 07, 2012
Everything in moderation can mean two very different things:
Everything is bad in excess. This is often what many people mean and this is usually true. But another meaning has crept in:
Everything is ok, as long as it is in moderation. This is another piece of conventional wisdom that I find in many places on Spark and I think it can be right or it can be dead wrong (pun intended) and is worth exploring in some detail.
I agree that moderation in the second sense can be a good thing in many cases. But there are clearly many exceptions as well. Nobody nowadays would recommend smoking in moderation, not even smokers who are not ready to quit. Nobody would say crack in moderation is a good thing, either.
Then there are all the things that seem to be good (or at least neutral) regarding our health when consumed in moderation: coffee, many pain pills, alcohol, thyroid medication, vitamin and mineral supplements, salt, even sugar... we could add many things here.
There are also many things that might be better in moderation than in excess but they may still be better to avoid completely.
The real question is how to judge if a substance, food or even an acitivity contributes to our physical, mental and emotional health by helping our body to be in balance.
Have you ever heard the sentence: I couldn't live without... (a person, a food, a drug, a habit, a hobby, a sport)
This, again can have several meanings.
It could mean " I can't do without this and survive or at least be reasonably functional", like "I couldn't live without my dentures" or "I can't live without less than 5 hours of sleep a night". This one is about physical necessities.
It could also mean "not having this in my life would be really difficult, inconvenient, or simply would put a crimp in my style, like" I couldn't live without running water, convenience foods, my car. This one is about comfort and convenience and often time-saving.
Then there is another category and this one has to do with our emotions. Things like "I get really unsettled, emotional, stressed, panicked, tense, worried, tired, depressed, wired, desperate, out of control, angry, irritated, jittery or illogical when I have to do without this. What "this" is depends on the person.
I used to think that food addictions are in one sense harder to break than many other addictions. We have to eat to survive. I don't think this any more. There are lots of foods that nobody has ever gotten addicted to. Natural foods are not addictive, even natural sugars are not by themselves. If you don't believe me try to eat a cup of honey and see how that works for you. Sometimes we crave natural foods that are similar to foods we have become addicted to, like very sweet fruit for sugar addicts, and we have to abstain from them at least for a while. My drugs of choice were definitely sugar and wheat and possibly other grains that are not very natural any more. There is a threshhold below which I can consume sugar and probably grains and it is very low, maybe a teaspoon of sugar a day, maybe a teaspoon of wheat flour a day, I'm not sure where it is. I'm not allergic to either. But there is no more reason to find out than there is a reason to find out how much Tylenol I can take before getting liver damage.
At this point I'm going to stop because everyone can write their own ending. What would you say if someone asked you: What can you not live without? And even more important: Are you sure what type of "not being able to live without it" it really is?
Saturday, April 07, 2012
I only had two meals today. Breakfast was around 10 am, and then I was busy until about 7pm because my husband and daughter are out of town so I was doing all their animal chores (and we have a LOT of animals, dogs, cats, rabbits, ducks and a horse. I also was trying to do at least a little clean-up for Easter. In any case, my last project of the day was to go shopping at our co-op for an Easter meal and at the same time to eat dinner at the deli there.
On the way there, around 6:30pm I saw that my daughter had left some gluten-free licorice on the seat of the car. The stuff is yummy but very high in carbs and full of sugar. But I decided to have one piece to hold me over until I could have dinner about 1/2 hour later. I enjoyed it a lot and let it melt in my mouth. There was really no temptation to have another piece, maybe in part because licorice has such a strong flavor. When I got to the co-op there were many temptations waiting, most of them organic or natural foods, but many pastries, candies, dried fruits and then all the entrees, salads and desserts in the deli. I loaded up on the salad bar with lots of raw veggies, some chicken, nuts, cheese, and vinaigrette and olive oil. I was looking forward to eating but still not feeling starved. To my surprise I found myself eating slowly, enjoying every bite, contemplating half-way through if there was any reason to have dessert afterwards but finding that I really was not hungry for it.
I used to have to use my whole bag of tricks to stick with the healthy food every time I went in there. I'd always seen my cravings as partly a sugar addiction, but that I had overcome "or so I thought" quite a while ago.
I thought most of what was hard to change was emotional eating, patterns of unhelpful behaviors, habits like eating too fast, never putting the fork down, telling myself that I "deserved" a treat, eating instead of drinking, eating because I'm cold or tired, eating because I feel bored, discouraged etc.. I was often frustrated with myself for being so slow in making progress on these issues. I knew this had nothing to do with will power, but being very familiar with principles of behavior modification I knew exactly what to do. I just did not succeed in doing it, because my impulse to eat usually won out, not to the point of gaining much weight other than seasonal changes of about 10 lbs., but enough to where I was always "managing" my eating behaviors.
So today I realized that I did not need behavioral and cognitive techniques any more, well, maybe I should say I hardly needed them any more. Eating slowly, tasting my food, not overeating, not thinking about the next meal all came naturally. It was so obvious to me today that eating would not work to fix the problem when I'm really tired or bored. I could only feel amazed that I ever looked to food for the answer to these situations before.
Being able to eat only two meals a day without getting hungry is great, too, on days when I'm short on time.
So much of what I thought was emotional eating patterns turned out to be physiological, the drive to eat or at least think about food every few hours. I have to assume increasing insulin levels from eating carbs were the primary cause. In any case, I like not having to control/manage/stay on top of cravings. For me if this means to go without grains and beans and sugar for the rest of my life that's worth it because I will be able to enjoy food when it's there but can stop thinking about it the rest of the time.
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