Every day, when I put food in my mouth, I am learning what works for me and what doesn't. Even those imperfect days where I eat something I hadn't planned to or let the asparagus sit in the crisper instead of making it for lunch, I am learning. I am noticing things I didn't notice before, or if I did, not as intensely.
I have noticed that when I drink a glass of unhomogenized, fresh milk from local, grass-fed cows, I actually FEEL good.
I've learned that eating fresh blueberries actually makes me happy. Kind of like snuggling with puppies or watching my little girl dance, fresh blueberries bring an involuntary rush of joy as soon as I see their rich, dark color and the pleasing way they look like art in a bowl, and after I taste their sweetness I can't help but smile because they just make me feel so good! It's not the 'good' of a yummy cupcake, either. It's not just a taste or indulgence or satisfying-an-urge thing. It transcends that.
I have learned that eating 2 free range chicken eggs with a fresh orange is every bit as good as my old favorite that I used to adore: 2 eggs, sausage, a buttered English muffin, and orange juice. I always felt kind of sick if I ate eggs alone, without carbs, but a fresh orange sure makes a wonderful side to my eggs in the morning! I think it's a new favorite. My body just sings after I eat that, and I feel energized and not sluggish.
I have noticed that I do not miss soda *at all.* I thought I was so hooked on diet sodas that I'd never get off. I thought heaven was in a can of Coke Zero and couldn't imagine trying to function without it. Yet within days of quitting, I had no desire for any of it. I much prefer cold, unsweetened tea or plain water with lemon.
I have seen the effects of sugar on my body now. Yes, I've had moments when I have eaten sugary treats in the last week, and while I knew before that sugar hurts me, it became *crystal clear* this time because the effects of sugar were immediate. As soon as I ate, I felt ill. My heart raced. I could literally feel my blood sugar running rampant. Then, I felt tired and sluggish and had zero energy in the afternoon to get anything done. And yes, my joints hurt. Badly. It was *very* acute this time, maybe because I ate sugar on an empty stomach. It just solidified my knowledge that those kinds of foods are harmful to my body.
I have found that overeating ANY food leaves me feeling bloated and yucky. I have learned that my stomach has a *much* smaller capacity than it did just a few years ago, and I stay full for longer. I actually need about half, or less, of the volume of food I used to need to feel satisfied. So I am learning to serve myself only half of what I *think* I want. It works beautifully; I am always full and satisfied with half. And I have seen that when I overindulge just because something tastes good (like the other night when I had seconds of pumpkin seeds mixed with dark chocolate chips), it sits in my stomach like a lump of lead and goes nowhere... NOWHERE... until the next morning. It SUCKS. It is an awful, sickening feeling like my stomach just cannot digest that amount of food when I eat well beyond fullness, especially if fat is involved. Even if I eat too much in the afternoon or at dinner, 5 hours later I am lying in bed feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. I prop myself with pillows and feel yucky and wake up tossing and turning from the lump in my stomach. And I wake up in the morning *not* hungry at all. I have learned I much prefer the alternative of going to bed nearly empty, after a decent (low carb) dinner at 6 and then a light, very light snack at 8 or 9 (100 calories or less). I sleep much more comfortably this way and wake up hungry. It's kind of crazy, because before I started blogging I always, *always* went to bed stuffed and slept propped up on pillows and woke up choking on my own reflux all night. It was *normal* to me. Learning to go to bed slightly hungry was something I began a few years ago and solidified on Medifast. Now *that* is my normal and I hate feeling otherwise.
I am taking this time to really pay attention to how I feel when I eat different things. I do read and think and learn from websites and books and scientists and "experts," but the most important learning is done right here, with myself.