Monday, December 14, 2015

About the Eating

Now that I'm back, I've been thinking about what the coming year is going to look like for me diet-wise. I've thought about whether or not I want to go back to some kind of plan, but so far that is not looking too appealing. All the counting, measuring, and weighing my food trying to meet some special set of goal numbers for calories and/or macros gets old really fast. Setting up lists of things I can and can't eat (like gluten, carbs, potatoes, sugar, etc) ends up feeling very restrictive too. I've done all those things repeatedly, along with other plans like Medifast, South Beach, and Wonderslim. But for the past 5 months I have finally felt at peace with the food situation. I am not stressing about what I can or cannot eat (especially since stopping the gluten free diet) and I don't get many cravings, either. I feel settled towards food... like, there is nothing I can't have, so I don't have to eat it all right now. Does that make sense? It's like when I used to binge, if I knew I was going to start a "diet" of any kind on Monday, I would feel frantic to eat all the things I wouldn't be "allowed" to have over the weekend. I'd buy pizzas and candy and fried stuff and eat til I was bloated. Thankfully, I am still binge free these days even without any restrictive diet in place. But still, it's nice to go to a potluck and be very at ease with turning down cake because, hey, I don't REALLY want cake right now but when I do I will have some. As much as I want. I know right now that if I really want carrot cake or something I am free to go buy one, bake one, or order some at a restaurant and eat a slice. And if I want a second slice I can do that too! This is a very freeing, guilt-free way for me to eat and I've enjoyed it very much. On our family vacation, I got gourmet ice cream when we were in a special shop. I ate some samples of chocolates in the chocolate store. I did not have to measure or count or feel bad about eating any of it. Dare I say, I feel kind of normal.

So I've concluded that at least for now, I'll continue what I'm doing. I do want to lose weight this year so I am obviously going to have to choose to say no at times, but it is still a choice... not a restriction. I also will have to get more active to get the weight off, obviously. I'm never going to be a marathoner or a gym rat, but I can get moving a little faster, a little more often.

I wanted to share what my eating looks like now. While I don't have lists of foods I avoid, I *did* learn some things from my elimination diet and I know which foods I feel best on.

I feel like some foods, like some nightshades, aggravate my arthritis. I feel a bit more sore if I eat those or if I eat too much sugar in one day. So I stopped buying and cooking with peppers and eggplant and tend to avoid those, as well as raw tomatoes. Cooked tomatoes don't seem to bother me so I do eat those. I also have potatoes on occasion with no bad effect, but I usually eat sweet potatoes (orange and white varieties) instead for nutritional value.

I still incorporate healthy extras like kombucha, bone broths, and organ meats into my diet.

I focus on getting good quality protein and plenty of vegetables and fruits each day. I also eat lots of healthy fats (olives, olive oil, avocado, avocado oil, and butter from grass fed cows, and nuts and seeds). I also eat legumes in moderation (lentils, split peas, beans).

I tend to avoid grains most of the time but I am not strict on that. When I am sick I eat cream of rice. I love fresh corn on the cob in the summertime. I've even had oatmeal a few times, but I eat a smaller serving of oats and add lots of fruit and nuts. I often still eat my old AIP standby breakfast of bacon, avocado, and fruit.

I kept some of the habits I developed over the course of Low Carb dieting: I often used cooked squash as a noodle substitute and steamed minced cauliflower instead of rice. I do this more for the reason of including more vegetables (nutrients) and less because I am worried about carbs or grains.

I eat sweets. I have a square or two of dark chocolate sometimes. When I was gluten free, I had gluten free cookies or cake once in awhile. Now, if I want something I go ahead and have it. I find I want less when I have this approach.

I would not call what I've been doing intuitive eating. I *do* try to pay attention to how much I want a food or what my body is asking for, but not on the level of when I tried to practice IE before. But yeah, sometimes my body is full enough but I just want a little more of something that tasted good, so I have it.

Things I have eaten this week (just to give you an idea what I'm having):
bacon and eggs
bacon, avocado, and blueberries
homemade ham and lentil soup with crusty bread and butter
salami and cheese
decaf coffee with cream, almost daily
Tandoori chicken and curried vegetables
homemade hamburger vegetable soup
Dove dark chocolate mint squares and some Hershey's kisses
chicken waldorf salad (with apples, celery, grapes, walnuts, and mayo)
DanActiv yogurt drinks
au gratin potatoes
Rotisserie chicken
gluten free pretzels and hummus
gluten free shortbread
green olives
cashews, almonds

I'm sure there were other things but that's what I can remember right now. I'm not going to start writing down everything I eat, but this gives a baseline for how I am eating now. I'll get on the scale soon and start weighing on a regular (weekly?) basis so I can see how things are going.

I know it kind of sounds like I am not going to do anything as far as dieting goes, but really I am just feeling so good about my eating right now and how relaxed I feel, and I don't think I am gaining anymore weight, so I guess my plan is to keep doing this for a few weeks while I weigh and see what the scale is doing. Then I can see if increased activity is enough for weight loss or if I need to tweak something with the food.

We're going on a Christmas trip soon and that's going to be fun! After Christmas I'll assess the weight situation. Happy holidays!


Unknown said...

Just an idea, but how about not focusing so much on food on your blog? It might be a trigger for you. Maybe write more on increasing activity levels instead of what you're eating? That might help get your mind off of food and shift more focus onto moving your body.

Lyn said...


I definitely will focus more on my activity when I am actually doing any :) Right now all I am doing is walking and yard work, haven't been pushing myself at all.

LHA said...

I think the way you are eating sounds so reasonable and so workable. It seems like the basis for getting/keeping your food intake under control to me. Thank you for sharing this, because it reminds me of what I aspire to do. I am also glad to see that you seem so happy and relaxed. All of this bodes well for keeping weight down and losing more if you want to. Bravo!

JM said...

Yay! For me this would not work, but glad that you have found some peace off the diet train!

Hillary Gras said...

Hi Lyn,
Good to have you back!!

Have you considered the Whole 30 "Diet"? It's not really a diet, rather a change of eating/lifestyle. Seems like getting rid of all processed foods could work for you and you're already doing a lot of that!

Lyn said...

Hillary Gras~

Yes, I think it is a very good way of eating. I did something similar, although more restrictive, called the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) for a couple of months in 2014. I felt really good and lost weight on that but it is hard to sustain. Whole 30 would be easier to do. I might look at that again someday.

Amy said...

It sounds like a really healthy approach to dealing with food. Psychologically, what we do to ourselves when we restrict actually sets us up to fail and gives food more of an emotional charge than it has when we don't restrict.