Tag Archives: Diet

Disconnect

Yesterday, I succeeded. No gluten, no dairy, no refined sugar. Today, tired and achy, my body feels pretty good.

Somehow, though, my brain remains disconnected from the remainder of my body. I awoke on this cool, wet morning craving a hot breakfast. A breakfast of biscuits and meat (preferably bacon, but my brain is not discerning at this point) made by someone else. Or perhaps brunch with cheese grits and toast at the local vegetarian restuarant.

How is it that my brain and my food cravings are so disconnected from my body. How is it that for at least a decade I poisoned my body with foods that created pain and discomfort? How?

Today marks day two of what feels like a great privation. Mind you, I recognize that for centuries people lived without these foods, but my diet tended to focus on these now known poisons.

Cutting out sugar for a brief period of time had been a challenge. During and after the hives, I did eat refined sugar because it was quick and easy calories when I didn’t feel like eating. Refined sugar is an addiction for me. A crutch. I bemoaned the exclusion of candy corn from my diet last night as I moved quickly through the now formidable Halloween isle to obtain dog food last night.

Gluten exclusion has been ongoing with the exception of Zaxby’s boneless wings about once per week. This must stop. The meal from Zaxby’s isn’t even filling any more. And yet, I would eat it because my brain craved it.

The dairy, chief suspect as culprit which caused the hives, presents a more significant challenge. The foods that maintained me through the gluten privation, pizza and potato skins, must be avoided to test the theory. My default calls for take out must be changed.

Instead of a steaming hot gluten and dairy filled breakfast, I made the smoothie. Filling and full of vitamins and minerals, I still crave the hot breakfast, but alas I am full and unable to eat more. My brain hasn’t given up though.

Thus, I seek a way to retrain my brain quickly. Though, no one seems to have a magic pill or miraculous trick. I’m told it takes 21 days to create a habit, or retrain a brain. Here’s hoping the next 20 days go smoothly. I’m finding different options for take out. Creating new defaults for food options. Only 19 1/2 days to go.

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Out of Sorts

Day four: John asked me what was wrong. Just up from a nap, I have no idea. No cravings for food I shouldn’t eat. No real physical pain at the moment. Tension in my head around the temples and a band following all the way around my head. Nothing is wrong. Everything is wrong. But it has no name, like trying to nail jello to a wall.

Honestly, I just feel out of sorts.

A friend suggested when I mentioned my extraordinary amount of sleep over the weekend that perhaps I am detoxing, shedding all the chemicals and sugars. I was concerned that perhaps I needed some carbohydrates to sustain some action.

It’s funny, I’m accustomed to having some insight. Today, I just don’t.  Perhaps this is why no one ever describes this feeling in the diet books. There’s nothing pithy to report, nothing splendidly insightful.

I’m not craving food that less than a week ago would have been a default meal. For lunch, I stood with refrigerator door open and found a meal of soup and salad with toast and oil and vinegar instead of opting for drive thru French fries. Pizza has some interest for me, but I’m not compelled to buy some. When I didn’t feel like cooking dinner, I’ve opted to roast potatoes and eat a salad. Add goat cheese for protein.

Nothing pithy or cute. Just plain blah!

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Assembly Required

This journey toward feeling better will no doubt present many new challenges. The one I’ve noticed over the last two days can be summed up in two words: assembly required. The Schwarzbein Principle II, the book and diet recommended by my doctor, is one of the most shocking diet books I’ve read.

The diet plan designed for everyone divides people four profiles and endorses natural foods and forbids processed foods. One portion of the diet, for folks who have mistreated their bodies with stress, processed foods with other poor eating habits and lack of exercise to the point that they are insulin resistant and have blown out adrenal glands, tells the reader: you will likely gain weight while learning to eat better and nourish your body. Shocking! No wonder I’ve this diet hasn’t become a fad. Again, as with my doctor’s prescription, this diet could take years.

While there are many other aspects of this diet or life change I could explore, natural, non-processed food presents today’s challenge. You think, “of course, that sounds great.” Putting that into practice creates a significant challenge for someone who is accustomed to eating some meals or parts of a meal from a plastic container, ready made. Even yogurt is forbidden because of the sugar content.

What does this mean to me? I must assemble each meal from ingredients into the healthy, life sustaining and restoring fuel. Three times a day. I’ve cut up vegetables for readily available snacks.

Cooking three meals a day is time consuming. Not only must the meal be assembled, not always requiring an oven or store, but then there’s the clean up which I dislike.

Then there’s a need for creativity. Eating the same foods repeatedly will cause boredom and create a situation where I will stray from my path. Today, I plan to grill squash on the Foreman grill. For me, that’s innovative.

Although I must say, the time spent cooking is time on my feet moving around the kitchen. Also, the continuous planning and researching what to eat and how to be creative with the foods available to me provides further brain reprogramming. Sneaky how changing my eating habits, making me plan and assemble meals, may be changing more than my food intake.

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Conspicuous Consumption

No wonder we suffer from overeating and obesity in U.S. Food is everywhere. Images of food invade our consciousness through television ads, radio spots, internet images, billboards and just business signage. We cannot escape food.

On the 5th day of my dietary experiment, excluding gluten and refined sugar from my diet, my boyfriend and I traveled to a local chain bookstore. Bookstores inspire detailed inspection for J. I opted for a cup of tea. Torture. Cheese cakes, cupcakes, crispy rice cakes, I could go on. The bookstore, a place offering intellectual stimulation, subjects us to further fat exposure. Granted, the counter of decadence is located at the back of this particular outlet but served tea from the counter next to case of gluten and sugar laden hazards.

In early January, 2011, I suspected that I suffered a gluten intolerance and began an experiment. For more than a decade, I suffered from stomach pain, which dozens of medical tests failed to diagnose. By mid-February, a test with very, very excellent cake produced the determinative results: gluten caused my stomach pain.

Since that time, my eating world changed dramatically. Importantly, I’ve developed a reprogramming plan. When an advertisement presents itself for a food I love but should not eat anymore, I think about the effects that the food will have on my body. My mouth may water but imagining the stomach pain, the headaches and the foggy brain remedies the impulse to run out and purchase a pizza, lasagna, cake…etc. In fact, many name brands now generate a negative response immediately rather than the former craving.

The choice to forego refined sugar for a month has sharpened by observation of these pervasive food exposures. No wonder Americans suffer from obesity and lack of awareness of what we eat. We stumble through life bombarded by images and sales and mouthwatering offerings of food. Without awareness, we consume these products ignoring the ingredient and nutrition labels. We pay no mind to the quantity or quality of the items placed before us on a plate or wax paper or out of a foam box.

No wonder then that our collective failure to attend to our diets leads to increased obesity in adults and children, increased diabetes and hypertension in people of all ages. That we lack the ability to discern a craving from biological need to replenish resources leads to the consumption of the wrong foods for the wrong reasons.

If the adults in our society lack the ability to differentiate between the needs of the body and the “joy” of eating whatever one wants, how will children ever learn to care for themselves?

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