Thursday, May 18, 2017

Being More Aware Makes All The Difference Continued...

As I was typing my last post, I realized that I've become much more aware of how differently I respond to food. Even though I still go through periods of wanting, I don't go through them nearly as often. I am thankful to be more aware of when the cycle is starting as well as being more aware of the triggers.

The most recent change I've noticed since going paleo is that I'm more satisfied after meals, even smaller meals. I also don't crave carbs nearly as much. There are those stumbling blocks like my most recent issue with obtaining a goal and then almost falling into a complete set back. I'm also transitioning into menopause which means I still have those times when I crave sweet and crunchy treats. I don't know if this will continue after the transition is over. I guess I'll need to ask someone if they still have craving like they did before menopause.

If I give in to eating sweets for more than 3 nights in a row my desire for carbs increases. Note, this is not a large amount of sweets. I could have a hand full of peanut m&ms a few nights in a row and that will trigger intense cravings just as if I were binging. Not just any sweet will trigger me. Refined sugars are my biggest culprit for triggering cravings. I recognized that when I started eating a hand full or raisins a few nights in a row and I didn't experience any triggers. So now when I crave a sweet crunchy treat during that special time of month, my most successful go to treat is raisins and nuts which is working for me so far.

Now only if I can figure out how to deal with success better. How do I stop myself from freaking out and sabotaging my efforts after obtaining my next weight loss goal? I'm clueless. The one good thing is that I recognize the pattern. As far as knowing which way to go from here...I don't. But you know me, I'll figure it out.

Onward and Upward! 

Finding Balance Between Two Dietary Needs

Have you ever heard the old adage, "The way you start is the way you will finish" or "Don't start what you can't finish?" Both adages are usually used in reference to relationships. I guess the same could apply to my relationship with food. So that is what I'm doing. I am building a relationship with food that I can live with. That's right... I am going to eat in a way that I can maintain throughout my life. I know most of the newer programs are already establishing this, but I had to come to this conclusion under my own terms. Besides, I have to find balance between my son's dietary needs and my own. And it needs to be something we both can enjoy for the long hall.

I think I've mentioned before that my son has several gut issues. Well, due to those gut issues I've had to try a few things. One of those things was gluten free living. Being gluten free did help some, but my son's gut issues were not getting much better. Next I tried Paleo which was very good for my son's gut, but he started losing weight. It was a bit of a challenge for me to find ways to increase his fat intake while decreasing mine. Also, I have to be careful with my son's carb intake because too many carbs could trigger his seizures. That being said, I've decided to do a blend of gluten free and paleo. On the one had my son can get a few more carbs with the gluten free and the paleo portion will balance his diet. Not to mention I can eat a low carb diet without feeling like my son and I have to eat completely different meals. We usually eat the same protein while having different sides. My son likes risotto, fried veggies, creamed veggies and so on. I love finding innovative ways to create tasty dishes using cauliflower, squash and leafy greens. We eat a host of other sides as well as a variety of healthy homemade flatbreads.

It was stressful at first. To be perfectly honest, I didn't think I could do it, but I've finally managed to make meals that promote healthy weight gain for my son and healthy weight loss for myself. Balancing our dietary needs has become second nature to me now. I've also modified my cooking times. Instead of cooking a meal and then later cooking a snack and so on, I now cook several meals and snacks at the same time and just serve when the time comes. Some days I may stew chicken while a meatloaf is in the oven and prepare enough sides to cover several meals. My sides are particularly easy because they do not require much cooking, if any. I have more time to work with my son and take care of other responsibilities in my day. It's situation.

I can see eating this was for the rest of my life and never being board with the menu. 

Here's a recipe for one of our favorite treats.

Chocolate Paleo Pudding

2 ripe Avocado
1.5 - 3 tbls. Unsweeteed Coco Powder (1.5 for milk chocolate and 2 or more for darker chocolate taste)
1/3 c. Raw Honey
1/3 Coconut \Milk (unsweetened full fat)
1 - 1.5 tsp Vanilla (to taste)
1 pinch Cinnamon

For lighter creamer consistency add an addition 1/3 thinner non-dairy milk. I sometimes use hazelnut or cashew milk. Both vanilla and chocolate flavors work well.

Place avocado, coco powder and milk in the blender and blend until smooth. Add raw honey, vanilla, cinnamon and additional milk (if desired), blend until all ingredients are well incorporated and pudding is fluffy, creamy and smooth (be sure to stop blender periodically to scrape the sides with a spatula and continue blending). You can eat the pudding immediately or chill before serving. It is absolutely delicious and low carb. 

You would never know the pudding was made with avocado if you didn't make it yourself. Let me know if you like this recipe.

Onward and Upward!!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Being More Aware Makes All The Difference

I've learned a lot on this journey. One of my biggest lessons is to pay close attention to my emotions and reactions to different things that may affect progress. Triggers for example. Though I have gained the ability to deal more healthfully with emotional peaks and valleys, but I still have triggers that are not as noticeable, at least not to me. For example, in my last post I wrote about finding success in failure. The success was that I crossed over a weight threshold that eluded me for 16+ years. What I did not expect and what I obviously did not pay attention to in the past was the overwhelming feeling of fear when I realize I've achieved another goal. It's subtle at first, so I didn't really think of it much. By the following week I was in full binge mode. I found myself in a battle of wills. The will to continue moving forward with my progress and the lack of will to fight off cravings. The vicious cycle reared it's ugly head.

It was all consuming. Everyday I dealt with urges so strong they'd actually stop me in my tracks. One day I was going to do a couple loads of laundry. As I collected items to wash an overwhelming urge to get pizza came over me. I literally stopped in my tracks, looked towards the front door and almost gave in to the need to feed. I managed to fight it off for a bit, but the cravings continued in waves. Sometimes the urges were so strong that all I could do was stand right where I stood and not move...not speak...and try not to think until the wave was over.

Wednesday was the hardest day. Thought of pizza whirled around my mind. All kinds...every kind... The waves of urges to feed were unstoppable. I refused to give up. I put all my energy into not walking out the front door. Not even to take the trash out. When it seemed as though I was going to lose the battle, I picked up the phone and called my cousin. She too struggles with binging. As soon as she answered I warned her and asked for forgiveness for possibly triggering her with what I was about to say. She gave me the go-ahead...I began to share my plight. She understood and fortunately was not triggered. She listened as I rambled on frequently switching between the subject of the foods I wanted to devour and my desperate plea for help to get past the whole thing.

Exhausted, I felt as though I were being bludgeoned and all I wanted to do was crawl into a hole to lick my battered emotions and bruised ego. Then my cousin asked a very interesting question. She wanted to know if I had anything in the house to make a pizza with or something pizza like. I did. I had turkey pepperoni in the fridge and a couple gluten free tortillas in the pantry. In almost an instant I became calm. My cousin noticed and spoke to it. Even as I sit here reliving my experience I can still feel the calm that came over me with a simple question. I made my makeshift pizza. It was delicious and it took away all the cravings. I was satisfied and did not binge. Thank you, Cuz! You threw me a lifeline that day. I'll always be grateful for it. Love you much!!

Being aware of my emotional cycle during that period made all the difference.

I'm glad to report that progress still continues. I have not weighed since my last drs. visit and presume that I will not weigh until my next drs. visit in a few months. In the meantime, I continue to exercise 30-45 minutes every night. If I feel tired or sick I remind myself of my commitment to do at least 10 minutes. Often I feel much better once I get started and can go for the full time. I also really appreciate that I've started following through on opportunities to walk more.

I'm feeling better. I'm starting to look better. I'm eating healthier than I ever eaten before.

Onward and Upward!