Thursday, February 14, 2013
I'm pretty sure I've blogged before about how much I hate having to deal with food. It's time consuming. I'm picky. I fully believe that my family carried a gene for enhanced tasting or smelling or something therein related. Because there are foods whose flavor I find yummy, and yet if I eat more than a little of it, I can't stand it. Not because it's gross, but because it's got too much flavor. I don't eat mustard because the flavor overpowers everything else. Same with bacon when mixed with other things (though I love bacon by itself). I know we all have different numbers of tastebuds, both at birth and throughout our lives as they die off. We also all taste things differently based on that, plus a variety of other factors including enzymes in our saliva. For example, I can't eat cilantro. For my whole life, I couldn't understand how in the world anyone would ever eat it, let alone a lot of it. To me, it tastes like soap. Then one day a year ago or so, I was talking to a friend who graduated from culinary school. I mentioned that I can't stand it, and she said, "Oooooh! Are you one of the people that thinks it tastes like soap??" Apparently, there's an enzyme in my saliva that's widely found in the population that makes us taste cilantro to be like soap. Awesome, right? I think so!
Anyway, there are a great many things I can't eat a lot of because they have too much flavor. Bell peppers are a big one right now, because my in-laws LOVE bell peppers and eat them almost every day. I wish I could eat them - they're chock full of nutrients. But even if my GERD didn't find them tricky, I can only eat orange and yellow, and then only in small doses. 'Cause they're just too bell-peppery. Sadly, it doesn't apply to sugar. Except frosting. Can't eat a lot of frosting. But I can eat all the chocolate EVER, and it never gets too big. Never upsets my stomach. Just goes in my mouth, dances on my tongue, and goes to my boobs, stomach, and thighs, in that order.
Gosh, I love chocolate.
But ordinary food? Yeah, not so much. I've taken a lot of guff over the years (as have most of my siblings) about the bland food I eat. But seriously, those people can't taste like I taste, because there's no way they'd be able to eat what they do. I can't even drink most alcohol (not that I'm complaining about that - I've never understood the draw) because all I taste is the fermentation, and I don't want to drink decomposing plant matter. So food is difficult. Bland food tends to be very mass-produced - pasta, rice, carbs in general - and thereby nutrient-poor. For me, my battle with food isn't my inability to stop eating it (except chocolate...), but my ability to enjoy eating. Good-for-you foods tend to be really high in flavor. I can handle it when they're sweet, like fruit (LOOOOVE fruit!), but not when they're sharp or savory.
Also, it's really hard to prioritize good-for-you-food prep when you don't really like food. So on my list of important things in my day, food is near the bottom. Some days, it's even lower than "clean bathroom." That's pretty low. I enjoy exercise. I don't enjoy food. (I'm really tired of the incredulous looks when I say that, too, because they're automatically relating my size to my calorie intake. I didn't eat my way over 200 pounds, thanks. The average person doesn't gain 30 pounds in three weeks, no matter how much they're eating, but I do that every couple of years when my thyroid messes up. That's a different post, though.)
I've said for years that I would really rather drink my food than eat it. If I could get organic, full-nutrient, well-balanced food in a pill, I'd never eat (except chocolate, obviously). if we still lived in our own place, I'd try to cook more - less stress and more time, plus being in charge of my own kitchen and family negates the priority problem. But we don't. So! I'm going to try something new.
My metabolism is all wonky, thanks to my thyroid, the incredible levels of stress I've lived with for too many years to count, age, genetics, etc. etc. I have sugar cravings all the time, and have started getting salt cravings, too. After my holistic health class last year, I decided it would be a good idea to do a detox. My body experiences way too much inflammation, too many allergies, and too great a response to those allergies. Internally, my viscera has no balance. Cleansing can help with that. How do you cleanse? With juice. OR with smoothies!
I love smoothies. After watching Private Practice from beginning to end, I got interested in "green juice." Smoothies are excellent ways to toss in leafy green veggies that are too sharp for me to eat raw, but might actually get lost in a flavorful, fruity smoothy. Just like I can drink alcohol when it's hidden in fruit, I'm hoping I can eat veggies when combined with fruit. Then I can actually maybe get all the nutrients my body needs naturally! Or at least, my body will be more balanced, more alkaline, and better able to calm down my GERD. Plus, metabolic boost! And if absolutely nothing else, they should help me eat fewer empty calories of highly processed carbs, so that maybe I can get over the hump of my weight set-point. I know once I pass below 232, my body will start dropping pounds like they're on fire. At least until I hit 218, which was the set-point before that. I just need to push my metabolism hard enough to force it out of stasis. It's clear to me, after five months of pushing my body hard through exercise and removing things from my diet, that I need to be more supportive of my metabolism, not just harsh.
I'm hoping that exchanging a nutrient-dense, fresh-food smoothie for one or two meals a day (the equivalent of eating a big salad as many times) for 3 - 4 weeks will be enough to coax my system out of adrenal fatigue and metabolic freak-out. Because I don't have the energy to work out harder than I have been, and I no longer have the time. Between grief, living situation stress, lack of jobs, and all the many other stresses I have no control over, my body needs better care, not harsher exercise treatments.
As a SparkFriend made me realize last week, I need to mother myself, because nobody else is going to do it for me!
When life settles down again, I'll be able to try my hand at healthy food. Until then, let's see how smoothies help!
Anybody out there have recipe suggestions?