Less talk, more action

So far I have done a lot of talking on this blog, but have been struggling with implementing my changes. I realized the other day that, despite telling myself I wasn’t setting a start date, I had done exactly that. It was May 1st (Wednesday). However, after a couple of off plan days, I have decided that I am just going to start tomorrow.

So, tonight I took the night off from work and school work and spent the night cooking. I have been a busy little beaver. My fridge is now full of prepared and semi-prepared meals for the week ahead. I have cooked golden beets, peeled carrots, cut peppers and some raw and pre-cooked spinach. I also cooked some chicken and some turkey sausages that I can either pop in the microwave and have with veggies, or can just cut up and put on salad.

Individual Crustless Mini Quiche

Individual Crustless Mini Quiche

I have always a been a big believer of having breakfast in the morning. However, either because I am running late or am too tired, I haven’t been bothered to make it myself. So, I have been picking up an egg white & turkey bacon sandwhich at Starbucks, and just taking the egg and bacon off the english muffin. I know that for me this is not a well-balanced breakfast. First of all it is processed food. I have really begun to hate processed food, I can difference in the taste. Secondly, I am not getting any fruit or veggies with that meal, and end up hungry an hour or so later. So tonight I also made a 1/2 dozen mini crustless quiches, packed full of feta cheese, asparagus, leeks and peppers that I can just grab in the morning. They will be perfect either cold or heated up, with some spinach and a few berries.

And finally, the piece-de-resistance, Quinoa Mac & Cheese. I got the recipe from a website called Moni Meals. I took one of the commenters suggestion, and used plain greek yogurt instead of milk and added a little feta cheese. I also used red peppers and tomatoes in the mix, as well as put a few tomatoes on top. Finally, I sprinkled the whole thing with some chili peppers. I have only had a few bites, but OMG it was super tasty! This will be perfect for lunch, but also for those nights I get home late from work and don’t feel like making anything. I can just heat this up with some steamed asparagus and I am good to go.

Quinoa Mac 'n Cheese

Quinoa Mac ‘n Cheese

Tonight, I am going to bed early. I have a mountain of work to do, but like I said I am taking the night off. I will go to bed, get lots of rest and then get up early so that I have plenty of time for yoga and a quick workout.

So, I am all set for the week. Friday I am off to a bed and breakfast for the weekend with DBF. I have already told the owners that I am grain and sugar free, and they have promised to have meals that I can eat. The B&B is overlooking Rice Lake, with a huge wrap around porch. So, I am going to bring my yoga mat and get up and do some yoga before anyone else is up. Plus we have plans to be out all day exploring, so I will get plenty of exercise. The only thing I need to do is make sure I pack all my supplements and bring a long some healthy snacks just in case.

Finally, I began journaling my negative thoughts today. Wow am I mean to myself! It’s hard to keep doing it, because I would just rather not know. Sometimes keeping your head in the sand is less painful, but you just don’t get anywhere that way. So, I will keep doing it no matter how hard it is.

Actually putting things into action makes me feel a lot better about where I am at. Tomorrow is the first day in a few months that I plan on keeping to the program. It will be hard, but I have done it before and I know I can do it again!

 

Foodie vs Food Addict

“Freedom from obsession is not about something you do; it’s about knowing who you are. It’s about recognizing what sustains you and what exhausts you. What you love and what you think you love because you believe you can’t have it. (p. 163)” 
― Geneen Roth, Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything

I have been reading a lot lately about food addiction. I wanted to explore my relationship with food, as I have always thought that it was pretty unhealthy (my relationship with it, not food in general.) The more I have been reading, the more I have begun to realize that while I do have  issues with food, I’m not completely delusional, it’s not really as bad as I think.

My first time cooking Quinoa – why didn't I try this sooner?

My first time cooking Quinoa – why didn’t I try this sooner?

I am what I would consider to be a Foodie. I know big surprise the fat girl likes food. But being a Foodie is about more then just liking food. It is about appreciating quality food, quality ingredients, being aware of how things are prepared, trying out new and different restaurants/food experiences. This is what makes me a foodie, not just the fact that I can eat a lot. I will point out that not all Foodies are overweight (in fact most aren’t), and not all overweight people are foodies.

According to the questions on the Food Addicts Anonymous website, I am definitely a food addict. I have poor impulse control when it comes to certain foods, especially sugar; I eat in secret; I am ashamed of my weight; I am embarrassed to eat in public…the list goes on. I have always known this about myself, but I will admit it is very hard to actually look at the questions and realize that you can answer yes to almost all of them.

I often wonder where this comes from, this addiction to food. Is it the same dis-ease (yes I purposely hyphenated the word) that causes me to drink too much, to smoke too much? Is it hereditary? My sister seems to have a relatively sane relationship with food, although like all of us Crozier’s she has a sweet tooth. Though hers seems to be less pronounced then some of ours, or maybe she just has more will power. My father, although he doesn’t always make the healthiest choices and eats a lot of sugar, doesn’t eat all that much. When we go out for Indian food as a family he and my sister often share a dish, while I will have my own. So it’s not nurture-based, I didn’t grow up in a family of overeaters.

I have also been reading a lot about insulin and resistance and some common complaints by women who are diagnosed with it. Many of them mimic food addiction:

  • Frequent hunger and after eating don’t feel full for long
  • Constant craving for sweets or other (refined) carbs – often feel can’t be trusted around them
  • Irritability if go too long without eating
  • Severe intolerance to low-calorie/low-carb diets

While nobody knows whether these symptoms are the cause or result of insulin resistance, the connection is interesting to me. It makes me wonder if some of my food addiction behaviours will lessen just as a result of getting my insulin levels under control.

Although I do overeat, and definitely eat way too much sugar, I really do have a healthy respect for food. I appreciate it’s power to fuel our bodies, to heal us, to nurture our spirits. And this is where the Foodie part of me conflicts with the food addict.

I love to cook. It is really one of my favourite things to do. I often think I probably should have been a chef. I will often look up recipes, just to get the basic idea of ingredients and seasoning, and then I will experiment and play with it. Sometimes, I will just cook without any recipe at all, just start adding ingredients and tasting as I go until I discover a flavour that I think works (this is how I created my turkey/veggie chili).

In fact that has been one of my favourite parts of this whole journey, discovering new ingredients, new flavours, new tastes. The world of food and cooking is amazing adventure, all you need is time, patience and the love of experimenting. I enjoy trying new restaurants, or new food events around the city. I love going to farmer’s markets and exploring. Seeing what is fresh, what is in season and what great deal’s I can get. I am, right now, counting down rather impatiently for the opening of my local Farmer’s market in May.

So, the challenge now becomes, how do I incorporate my love and appreciate for food (my Foodie nature) with my new lifestyle changes with regards to what and how much I eat (food addict/PCOS nature)? I really don’t want to lose that side of me in this process of changing my eating habits, because it really does define a part of me. Cooking and experimenting with food helps to feed my spirit. And the more I read, the more I realize that it will also help to heal my body. Not just in the obvious way of eating less sugar will help to restore my insulin resistance to normal levels, but also there are certain food that can help with hormone imbalance, moods, muscle tension, etc…

Which is why I have decided to expand the parameters of this blog, kind of. Not only am I going to look at and discuss the emotional side of this journey, but I am going to explore and discuss how and what foods are helping to relieve my physical symptoms. My hope is that by exploring both I can relieve myself of the unhealthy parts of my relationship with food by helping the healthy parts to grow and flourish.