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Another side of eating low-carb - freeing up my mind and emotions

Monday, November 04, 2013

The thoughts that I am writing down are very much spur of the moment impressions, not to be weighed too heavily or taken as absolute truth.
I noticed today that food has started taking on a different role in my life, at the same time more important and much less important.
When I was eating a much higher carb diet many a waking moment was spent either eating, planning the next meal, buying food or deciding when to eat next, also how to avoid eating too soon again. The total amount of energy devoted to food was huge.
Food was one of the greatest pleasures of my life and I knew I'd better be really smart about finding ways to be able to continue enjoying it without hurting my health. So I became good at cooking, baking and otherwise preparing food. I improvised a great deal, modified recipes and tried new combinations. I also spent more money on higher quality food. All of this was a necessary and good step in the process of getting healthier.

Food now has become less important in the sense that I don't have to constantly think about which foods I can have.
I avoid all highly processed foods, all grains including rice, all legumes (beans, peas, lentils), starchy vegetables like potatoes, sugar, high-sugar fruit by not keeping them in the kitchen and staying out of restaurants for the most part.
Everything else I eat and combine in any way I feel like, paying little attention to traditional meal choices unless I feel like them.
I make meals based on what's in season (in our garden or local) and what's available for a good price.
I don't worry about meal times or eating regularly. My body can sustain itself from body fat for several days if necessary without any problem.
My preferred drink, water, is always there (Thank God for this blessing which we often take for granted) and I can make tea or decaf if I feel like a hot drink in cold weather. Not having to haul soda, juice, beer and wine and other heavy beverages must save at least one shopping trip a week.
My family has also gotten creative (I guess out of necessity since I don't cook 3 square meals a day emoticon ) and help themselves to whatever their heart desires whenever they feel like.
Common meal time is now truly about spending time together, not necessarily all eating the same food. It used to annoy me if there was a lot of conversation happening during meal time (kind of embarrassing to admit but true) because it kept me from enjoying my food while it is still hot. Now I truly enjoy talking more and listening to what people have to say. I don't even feel the need to shove food in my mouth while someone else is talking.
The other thing that has gotten easier is to get things done, anything: cleaning the house, doing the laundry, reading a good book, exercising, going shopping, spending time with people who are important to me, all of this is not interrupted by thoughts about food any more than by my breathing or my pulse. Just like my breathing, digestion and pulse are happening without conscious thought, eating is something that is very important, it sustains me with all the replacement parts that my body needs. It is also pleasurable at times. But it is much more in the background.
Do any low-carbers know what I'm talking about?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • JLKL1980
    Birgit - I have been noticing the same thing for about 3 or 4 weeks now. And that is what has been the best thing about lowcarbing for me - the cravings just stop. And if they do occur for me, it's because I have let the carbs creep back up on me. But I know I can fix that very simply now just by getting back into ketosis again.

    Great Blog!

    1664 days ago
    My hope is to get where you are. I want to stop obsessing about the scale says and stop thinking so much about what I should and not be eating. I am less obsessed about my next meal by following LC but I have some work to do. Thanks for blogging.
    1664 days ago
  • ERIN1957
    I am striving for what you are experiencing.
    I am finding a new found freedom in the kitchen and it takes so much less time in there and as well preparing.
    I do enjoy the process of cooking and the true joy in wonderful whole fresh beautiful foods. Like I said, I have clean homemade or grown food envy LOL
    The meals are simpler, quicker and healthier.
    I am back enjoying and more relaxed with food and the choices I have. Simple ingredients .
    I am hoping someday when I get to goal I will ease into a more freedom schedule. Tracking and rebuilding now is taking front and centered stage, as I struggle with the food yet.
    But it is getting there.
    Birgit your brain is healing along with your body and function is becoming automatic. This is by far a great accomplishment.

    1664 days ago
    Hi Birgit,
    This sounds like heaven!
    I think I am experiencing a version of this without going low carb. I went out to lunch with my mom today, on the last day of her weekend visit from Boston, and was able to completely focus on our conversation while enjoying a big plate of heritage greens, grated carrot and cabbage, a few cherry tomatoes and about a half cup of chopped chicken, all lightly covered in a dressing of olive oil and lemon. It was simple and delicious, left my blood sugar nice and level, and allowed me to easily segue back to work. For me, the key seems to be eating a bit less of everything and staying completely away from refined sugar.
    In the past, my mother and I would always have ended our meal by sharing some sort of decadent dessert, like a fudge brownie or a piece of cheesecake. There were so many times when we regretted this indulgence almost as soon as we were finished! Today, after four days in which we did yoga together and stuck to my new eating routine, we didn't even talk about having dessert..
    It's such a pleasure to be more or less free of cravings!!
    1665 days ago
    Absolutely. I'm by no means perfectly compliant, but even so, I'm often surprised at how uninteresting food has gotten. It has lost much of its power over me.
    1665 days ago
    I do. In 3 short days on low carb, I remember now what that is like, not to be ruled by the drops in blood sugar, and feel like you HAVE to eat and be hungry all the time. It's something I am quite enjoying!

    I do still have to spend time cooking, tracking, counting and measuring right now because I am just starting back up. When it becomes routine I can let that go too!

    Another pleasant side effect is that it has been much easier to give up my wine and hard cider than I thought it would be. I think I was craving those more from low blood sugar as well...
    1665 days ago
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