Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Eating, Cravings, Food Thoughts, Paleo

Yesterday was very strange in a couple of ways. Adding fruit back into my diet was great; I have been craving it all along, and now I can enjoy it in moderation (2 servings/day). I combined both fruits with protein and the GOOD is that I had way more energy than usual. I got more done yesterday than I usually get done in 3 or 4 days. I was on my feet so much that I was sore at the end of the day, but my house is a lot cleaner and many errands I'd been putting off got taken care of. I also felt a brighter, sunnier mood overall.

However, those *eating* thoughts just kept coming. I avoided them and kept working on things, eating on my schedule, having an on-plan day including a huge plate of roasted kale and a big bowl of cauliflower "loaded baked potato" soup (which seriously is my favorite meal ever, is SO easy and simple, low carb and delicious, you really have to try it). I made it through the day on plan and then, at night, I started going through the cabinets. You know that feeling. I was trying to figure out what I could have as my "optional snack" which is usually pistachios or something like that, but I had this intense desire to just eat and eat and eat, and to zone out while doing so. I had some kid-related stress in the evening and during THAT time I had actually, momentarily, for a split second wanted to race to the store and buy a bag of Reeses eggs and cram them into my mouth until I was sick. It's a stress reaction for me to think thoughts like that. But I don't allow myself to go on 'food runs' anymore. I just pretend the store is an hour away. Instead I ended up eating about 2 ounces of roasted, salted pumpkin seeds from the cabinet. Oh my goodness, they were so good, and they are tiny so I sat and ate them one at a time. There must have been hundreds of them in the bowl so it felt like I was eating a lot. I drank a ton of water with it and will full when I got to the end of the bowl.

Now, this is both encouraging AND discouraging to me. I did avoid junk and ate something natural and healthy (the roasted salted business makes them VERY hard to stop eating, but this is one food I keep on hand for my little one who needs the nutrition and calories and I really like them in salads... it's just hard to stop at a "half ounce" which is the allocated serving size for an optional snack of nuts). But two ounces is more than 300 calories, people. That is NOT helpful to my weight loss efforts. And then I feel like I "ruined" a perfect day and it gets me down. I know it really isn't "ruined" but still, it is frustrating.

I am not so sure the food thoughts are a result of adding fruit back in, though. Maybe, but historically I tend to get food thoughts and wanting to EAT a lot after a week or two on any plan, even without the fruit. So I dunno if it is just my usual cycle of getting to a point of wanting to go off plan (resistance to any kind of restriction) or if the fruit had something to do with it.

Yesterday and today I keep having to banish this image in my head. It is an image of frosted carrot cake. I know why I keep seeing it in my mind, too: yesterday when I was picking up milk and cinnamon at the store, I walked through the baking aisle and a box caught my eye. It was just a cake mix, the kind I don't like. I really dislike boxed mix cakes and find them not worth eating. Go homemade or go home, I say. Anyway, the picture on this box was major food porn. I actually stopped and stared at it for a minute. I think I drooled. Then I went on. But I do love a good homemade or bakery made carrot cake and since then I keep thinking about that picture. Drives me nuts. In fact, last night after I ate those pumpkin seeds I thought, "this sucks. I think tomorrow I will go get some decent carrot cake since I am already off plan." I kicked that thought out of my head though. Old habits are hard to break.

I appreciate all the good advice, thoughts, links, articles, etc you have left in comments and emailed to me. Thank you. A lot of you think I should consider Paleo or reading Wheat Belly or doing something similar that goes back to the basics of meat, eggs, vegetables, healthy fats. I am mulling it over and doing some reading. you may be onto something there. I am just not sure if I want to/can give up fruits and dairy, but depending on who you ask, that may or may not be necessary. Giving up wheat, gluten, grains might be something I need to do. I am considering it. I am definitely not adding them back in at this point regardless. If you are doing something like this, Paleo or otherwise, please leave me a link to your blog or other blogs of folks who are doing it. I will check them out. I have 2 kids with sinus infections and have been busy with that; Superfoods Challenge coming, I promise! Thanks for the support!


Anonymous said...

Lyn, if you're considering checking out Paleo eating, I'd suggest starting here - http://whole9life.com/category/whole-30/ Yes, it's super-restrictive for 30 days, but it allows you to *really* see how foods/food groups affect you when you begin to reintroduce them. Also, if you'd like to keep some dairy and fruit in your diet, look into The Primal Blueprint. Read around this site when you get some time - http://www.marksdailyapple.com

Rosa Frazier said...

I am doing Paleo and that is no grains, sugar, caffeine, legumes, or dairy. I am allergic to milk and have been dairy free for over 2 years. However, the grain-free has been over 2 months and I feel great. I have lost about 13 lbs. I have incorporated exercise and expect to lose more consistently. I eat meat, fruits and veggies. I do eat carbs such as sweet potato once or twice a week. However, I don't do potatoes. Corn is a grain and so is rice, so consider that.

Check out Primal, which is more flexible--see, Mark's Daily Apple blog. It is a phenomenal resource.

Good luck.

purpleivy said...

Hi there,

Have you considered Dukan? I know there isn't fruit, but I've found my energy levels to be really good on this plan. I've lost 9kg since beg November, even with lapse for Christmas/New Year and even stayed the same when I went to the USA last week for 9 days.

It's really suited me and I feel better than I have for years.

Kind regards

Kathleen said...

Lyn, the problem is not the fruit. It is not adding carbs back in. The problem is mental. The reason food is 'calling' to you now, and the reason you have an urge to a.) eat a lot and b.) eat things you don't even like is because you have relaxed your standards. You are not being 'strict' anymore. Your brain knows this and is trying to use this fact to get you to gorge. You have to realize that you are going from a strict, I-always-have-to-be-good mindset to a well,-this-is-okay-in-moderation mindset. You intellectually want to use this leeway to add healthy foods into your diet, but your brain is trying to convince you to abuse this new freedom. DON'T LISTEN TO THAT LITTLE VOICE. Just because you have more choices now doesn't mean you have a license to gorge, or to eat junk, or to indulge in mindless eating. Trust me, I have battled this voice again and again. And when I have given in I have always regretted it. Be strong, Lyn! As soon as your brain knows the rules again (it'll take some time for it to adjust) the 'bad' food and mindless need to stuff yourself will fade. Trust me. You just have to get through this hump. But if you give in, the voice will have won, and it will be ten times harder to get on track later. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Just stopping in to let you know that Paleo includes fruits, although many people avoid them at first if their initial goal is significant weight loss (I do).

I am a reluctant Paleo convert. I had given up grains and legumes on my own, but I love cheese too much (I thought) to walk away. Unfortunately, I determined that my nursing baby was reacting to the milk products that I was consuming. No more dairy for me. :-(

I hate to admit that I feel better now that I am not eating milk products.


Lyn said...

Thanks all for the sites and info!


You are so right. I had to tell that little voice to shut up today. I did not give in. It would be SO EASY to grab a sweet bakery item and then, see, all the "stress" is gone because the decision has been made. Fighting it is like making little decisions over and over. I keep saying to myself, "I deserve better." And eating my lettuce...

Erika said...

Atkins! Weight Watchers! Paleo! No carb! No fat! Low fat! Meal replacement bars!

Does it really have to be THIS complicated?

Lyn with all due respect I like you and admire you a great deal but it seems like you are being quick to try something new if a plan doesn't work out after 3 days. It takes months to see results if you are consistent.

Why can't you just, like, eat lean protein, bulk up on non-starchy veggies, enjoy fruit when you want fruit and limit dairy to low fat and grains to whole? And measure portions? And axe all processed foods?

I wish you a good life and good health and I don't want you to get discouraged.

Lyn said...


I agree. It's shouldn't be complicated.

To be clear, I am not looking for a new 'plan' or thinking of changing what I am doing NOW which is Medifast Transition. I am trying to figure out the long term. Part of Transition is adding grains back in at the end, and I've been hesitant to do that at all. Just looking into the ideas of other foods I may want to avoid for my health. Transition is a 6 week (or more) process but in the end I want to be eating whole foods. The big question for me is, WHICH whole foods?

bbubblyb said...

Hubby and I have given up bread the past few weeks. I'm still having dairy (he doesn't like it) and we both are having fruit daily. We are doing the 5-6 mini meals (timing them at least 3 hours apart) and having a balance of protein/carbs/fat at each meal. We are still eating things like potatoes and brown rice. What I'm finding is the cravings have left me. I'm still eating my homemade protein bars (mainly old fashion oats) and they don't seem to trigger me. Anyway, we both are losing weight and feeling really good. I've come to realize the biggest part for me is positive thinking, when I'm mentally feeling good it seems the food is easier.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I really don't see it as you trying to jump from one plan to another. Honestly, I think primal/Paleo is a natural extension of what you've been doing and what you've said you want for your future - low-carb, and loads of healthy whole foods. It seems that lots of your "trigger foods" are grain-based, so staying off them will likely be helpful. Plus I've personally noticed that even just eliminating wheat did soooo much to kill my sugar cravings.

Vb said...

I agree with the first commenter. If you are actually considering Paleo, do the Whole9 30 day thing. It allows you to see what foods bother you, and which do not. You may think you know now, but the best way is to give yourself 30 days to find out. Also, I love the whole9 philosophy- Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.

Anonymous said...

Pleeeese read The Mood Cure by Julia Ross. My life was turned upside-down and I think you would benefit. I think this is the forth time I've mentioned it on your blog, but I'm unsure if you've already read the book. Request it from your local library and you'll never regret it.

Anonymous said...

Paleo is not sustainable FOR LIFE for most, in my opinion. Definitely not for me. I think you're overthinking the fruit thing but I will say this: it seems like you bought way too many different types of fruits for just adding them back to your diet. That would be overwhelming. I'd think. Maybe try smaller and easier.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Kathleen too... it's not the fruit or carbs per se, it's the fact that you're allowing yourself to have them now. Basically, your inner fat girl recognizes that the boundaries have relaxed and now she wants a chocolate bar. Do not let her take advantage of this moment --ignore her tantrums and teach her some proper manners. She needs the discipline!

Lyn said...


I have read *part* of the Mood Cure as well as the website.

Taryl said...

Look up Paul Jaminet and the Perfect Health Diet. Fruit is allowed, as is some starch. I also manage heavy cream and some cheese without issue, as I am not particularly sensitive to dairy. It is an excellent long term Paleo-type eating plan and I think it would suit you well.

Karen said...

Hi Lyn,

I'm listing my most read Paleo Links. I probably eat more on the Primal side- with occasional dairy(very little) and one MF meal at night most nights. It's like a hybrid Primal/Refuse to Regain/with lots of Paleo recipes.

Here we go:

1. Sarah Fragoso- EveryDay Paleo (adults) & Paleo Pals (kids book). Best thing about Sarah's books are the recipes are do-able for families. She's got 3 kids of all ages and she GETS it. She's a great speaker and at her seminar, her driving home point : when you eat off Paleo ( many Paleo's plan occasionally to eat off plan, very occasional) whatever you do, don't eat wheat. Dairy okay- wheat NO WAY. Also, great recipes in the book. http://everydaypaleo.com/

2. Robb Wolf- The Paleo Solution. Great first book to start with to understand Paleo. http://www.robbwolf.com/

3. Recipes- Nom-Nom Paleo. Fabulous recipes and I love her writing style and photos for her recipes. Also a Mom and works full time. She also GETS it. I LOL every time I read her blogs. http://nomnompaleo.com/

4. Mark's Daily Apple. Great jumping off place for all things Primal http://www.marksdailyapple.com

5.Balanced Bites- I like this blog. http://balancedbites.com

5.5 Doing the whole 30, as recommended by another reader. I like this blog. http://whole9life.com/

6. Finally- Pinterest. I pin Paleo style recipes here http://pinterest.com/gardengirlkp/paleo-recipes-to-try/

I haven't dug into the Primal recipes, but I'm strongly considering adding back in dairy slowly. We'll see. Transitioning from MF transition to full out maintenance has been interesting.

Like Sarah Fragoso said, don't eat wheat! And I'm so past eating sugar, I wouldn't even think of it.

Good luck Lyn. Keep involved and out of the kitchen when you feel those urges. Place a sign on the kitchen cabinets where the snacks are (for the kids) "The answer is not in here". :) Karen P

Diandra said...

This is all part of the process, and I think everybody has been there. Some of us more than once. I think you are doing fantastic.

(I would offer to share a really low-cal carrot muffin recipe, but I am not sure it would be appreciated right now... I am always trying to find ways to make my favorite meals in a low-cal version, we even have our healthier version of tiramisu...)

Martini Girl Goes Primal said...

I just want to say...
I am the old you.
I really really want to be the new you :)
I saw your comment on mark's daily apple and follwed it back to your blog.
I started following the Primal way of life in December.
It is hard in the begining to give up grains and sugar. Your body detoxes and you freak out a bit, but once on the other side you find there is no desire to even get near a nasty processed food again.
I don't have to eat 5 small meals a day, I don't count calories.
I have heavy cream in my coffee and some cheese during the day and I still have lost 30 pounds in my first 66 days!
I have reaped the benefits of coconut oil, and learned to cook with almond and coconut flour.
It is amazing at 45 to feel more powerful and energised than I did at 35!
Bless you for losing your weight and letting everyone come on the ride with you, and I hope that you find the best course of eating for you very soon :)

Post-it Notes said...

Keep up the good work! Love your blog!

tiffany said...

I have lost 15 pounds this year after reading Gary Taubes.
He is a science writer and has written some amazing books and essays.
We are all rooting for you, Lyn!

Jes said...

I disagree with Erika. I don't feel that you've switched plans, well, ever. You have overall been quite consistent. The issue is, as other's have stated (and I deal with myself) trying to negotiate the parameters of Transition, which does involve more leniency. Some trial-and-error is needed to determine how "loose" you can go.

I second the nomination for marksdailyapple and the Primal Blueprint. It's a great plan. Flexible, with fruit and dairy allowed depending on your personal tolerance. I personally found Paleo to be too strict for someone like me, who binges if restricted too much.

I also love nomnom paleo and I think you would love it,too, Lyn. She's a foodie, like you, and she knows how to cook simple, savory foods while juggling kids and a difficult work schedule. Her food is no joke - love it. And she manages it without being preachy about Paleo or food in general.