Wednesday, November 30, 2011
One of Spark's news articles today was about how you shouldn't "deny" yourself trigger foods. Problem is, by definition if they are "trigger foods" they will pull the trigger on a full on binge. I had to find out what those triggers were and avoid them entirely. I have a couple: Reeses, Cheetos and Chex Mix. I cannot have even one or I will finish whatever is in sight, and crave more. Then I have to deal with that overwhelming craving. Not something I can "just be strong" about. And why? There is no essential nutrient found in only those foods (if only there were!), just the instant gratification found only in that wonderful combination of fat, salt and crunch, or fat and sugar. Only when I decided not to eat those things One Day At A Time was I able to leave that awful craving behind as a residual memory. It's a memory that can be resurrected in one bite, though. It may be hard to turn my back, walk away, but it's a lot easier than dealing with that craving. We are talking about a few seconds of NO rather than weeks of denial.
I am eternally grateful that I lost weight back when we had to cut out a lot of food rather than allow ourselves "just a taste every now and then". I had to learn to find the closest substitute for me: crunchy salad, salty olives, sweet fruit, rearranged into the infinite possibilities that are available. I don't need to pull that trigger.
Sometimes what seems like unreasonable denial can be the key to moving on.
Thursday, November 03, 2011
My father was a chemist, and some of my best memories of growing up were after dinner, when we'd push the dishes aside and he'd start explaining something and writing equations all over the napkins. An hour would disappear into his stories. Alton Brown picked up with food chemistry, but with puppets and models rather than equations. I read Shirley Corriher's book "Cookwise" (which, I think, was his model) when it first came out, and I was thrilled to see someone else who was as entranced by her approach to cooking as I was.
From Alton's "Final Thoughts" at the end of his last book:
"I do know that we have some pretty big problems in this country, and I think that at least a few of them could be solved if we concentrated as much on cooking as we do on eating. Food is fabulous stuff, to be sure, but cooking can also be its own reward. Cooking is an action, and it's time for more action and a little less consumption."
Truer words were never said. In our land of plenty, with microwaves and frozen and packaged food, consumption has been separated from creation. No wonder we are in such thrall to the food marketers! When we prepare our own meals, we have TWO joys: creation as well as consumption.
Alton ends with "And it wouldn't hurt us to be a little thankful every now and then."
I am far more aware of the bounty of today when I assemble my own meal than if I just stopped by the drive-in window. And awareness leads to gratitude.
All 3 of Alton Brown's books are fun and informative, and I only wish my father could have lived to enjoy them. And the food that resulted.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Azad Ahuluwalia Gohn was born by caesarian section last night at 2:30: He was 7lbs 11oz, 20 3/4 inches long. He has his mother's black hair and we can't yet tell his eye color, but they aren't his father's blue eyes.
He's beautiful! My fifth grand!!
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Last December my husband had what turned out on the MRI to be his second stroke. Three days I sat in the hospital with him dealing with doctors and tests. Then 3 weeks after his stroke he fell and broke his leg. Three more days in the hospital, and three days in a rehab before bringing him home. Three weeks later, surgery, and another day in the hospital, followed by an infection, yet another surgery, and a month of home antibiotic IV. During all that time, taking care of myself took a back seat, and I ate very little. I wasn't hungry, was terrified, and the weight fell off to the point where my own doctor told me to gain some weight.
I tell this story because I hear so often from people trying to lose weight and failing, that they must be eating TOO LITTLE. That eating too little will cause weight gain. It sounds preposterous on its face, but those fighting the terrible battle of overweight will cling to any idea, no matter how absurd, to think they don't really need to do what they don't want to do. That bigger portions and more snacks will give them the results they want.
Which would mean that the starving people of the world must actually be eating too much. It's a myth started by a fact: severe calorie restriction can cause metabolism to slow in the body's attempt to conserve life sustaining energy. It's a phenomenon that actually extends lifespans in some creatures (never proven but assumed for humans), but it doesn't mean that more french fries lead to weight loss, no matter how enticing the idea may be.
Eat less, either from circumstance or hard work, and weight will go down. I've lived both sides now.
Monday, October 10, 2011
I have never written a blog before but I don't know where else to talk about this.
Spark has those Food Showdown emails where they compare two foods (mostly that I've never heard of) and tell you which one has the lower calorie count. They never say that neither choice is acceptable.
In some of the quizzes, there are questions like "which Halloween candy is better?" And the answer is supposed to be the lower calorie choice. My answer would be Neither. Or None Of Them.
I noticed a big box of Butterfingers at the grocery checkout this morning. I LOVE Butterfingers, but I haven't had one in years. Not even the teeny tiny one. I absolutely LOVE Reeses, and they are so pretty and enticing in the smaller "snack size" that is all dressed up in holiday colors. I haven't had one in years.
There is some kind of theory out there these days that you don't have to "give up the things you love" in order to lose weight. But it is so much easier to lose the weight if you don't eat them, the question is How? Instead of trying to figure out how to fit a Reeses in, I was taught to figure out what I could have instead and make it. WW cookbooks are full of alternatives (although nowadays they'd probably prefer that we buy their fancy products). I discovered that I could not eat some of the things I loved for years on end, AND SURVIVE!!
Of course, I only don't eat them One Day At A Time. Maybe I'll have one.....tomorrow. And all those tomorrows go by and turn into years. I don't remember what a Butterfinger or a Reeses even taste like, just that I love them. But I'm thin now, and that's why.
Maybe tomorrow. But maybe not. I really really like being thin, and I don't have to cast back in my memory to remember the joys of Thin.
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