FOMO (food edition)

I’ve started this practice of “morning pages.” I’ve done it three days, so I can’t say that it has been life-changing for me yet, but I’m interesting in seeing what happens with it.

I can already see one benefit of it because I’m sitting down and just facing some of my thoughts. I hate to admit this, but I’m constantly worrying and thinking about my weight and health. It’s completely irrational to be this obsessed and still make bad decisions. I’m at a sort of “war” with myself. I know it is not logical.

Actually, that’s the thing about the morning pages. In the moment we think our negative thoughts or whatever, we don’t really recognize the irrationality of some of our thoughts. But with morning pages, I’m starting to be able to detach from these problems. It’s a process, and I’m still at the beginning, but I have hope.

A few days ago, as I wrote, I realized that one of my most emotional responses to food is based on FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. I want to eat cookies if there are cookies at work because I don’t want to miss out on them. Bread, I just moved to a new state, and there is a really great brand of bread here, I want to eat it because I had to go without it for my entire life. The kids want to make brownies, so I’ll just make some with them because these moments won’t be here forever. And, of course I’ll lick the batter because there isn’t much, and I just want a little bit, I’d hate to see it go to waste, and…you get the idea.

I realize that I don’t want to miss out on the fun, the food, whatever. And by writing the morning pages, I was able to really see how irrational this thought is.

But it’s hard, in the moment to say, “You’re being irrational. Stop it.” It’s hard because of habits. And other things, I’m sure. The day I figured out my FOMO issue, I went to work, and someone brought in some homemade raspberry-jalapeno jam with cream cheese and ritz. At first I thought, “I’ll pass.” But everyone raved about it, and soon I thought, “Gosh, this is homemade. How can I pass this up? It’s just Christmas, and I’d be ungrateful if I don’t even try it.”

And I found myself eating many crackers. Yes, the raspberry jam was good, but the joy of that moment is now long gone, and I still feel the sadness that comes from emotional eating.

So – even though I had recognized the FOMO issue, I haven’t really resolved it. Yesterday, after work, I realized that perhaps I can use FOMO in a way that will help me. Perhaps instead of fearing that I’ll miss out on a treat, I should fear on missing out on healthy years ahead of me, good sleep, being able to reach peak poses in yoga.

So – that’s got to be my thought process, I guess. I want a short, easy process. A sentence. A phrase. A word. Yeah – the word is no. I will say no to these food-opportunities and know that it is liberating me for other life opportunities. But I need to stop thinking. I need to stop overthinking. And my go-to should just be “no.”

Hives!!!! An Update

So – since starting this primal experiment, my skin has been flaring up. I’m sure that I’ve already written about this. It is so frustrating. I feel like the better my diet gets, the worse my skin gets.

I was feeling frustrated about it a week ago on Saturday. Then I decided I would do Yoga – and I wouldn’t let my skin get me down. I was still kind of out of it, I can tell because I fell out of headstand (the wrong way), and then did this…

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Knee vs Wall

It really made me upset for a second. I’m renting this house! Yikes!!! But I was doing yoga, and I felt like I needed to breathe through this minor frustration. Thankfully I didn’t hurt myself – I didn’t need to stop and attend to anything in the moment.

After breathing for a few seconds, I decided I’d finish up my practice. It was actually a good one, so that’s great. Then I got up with renewed zeal for my health goals and hope for my skin.

Sunday. Same old stuff. Itchiness. Yuck.

Monday. Major MAJOR flare up. My hands were an itchy, blistery mess. I had hives all up and down my arms, neck, chest, belly, and now – my scalp! Yes, apparently you can get hives on your scalp. It’s kind of gross, really.

Tuesday it still wasn’t calming down much.

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Itchy
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Ouch
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Grr

I feel like the pictures can’t adequately show how annoying this is. Additionally, these are only my hands. I have hives all over my body.

So – Monday, I was so incredibly annoyed. What on earth was going on?! On Tuesday, I figured screw it! and I didn’t eat very healthy. The hives were starting to get better. (the pictures above, I actually took on Tuesday).

I can’t believe that eating crappy for me is better than eating healthy. Obviously there is something happening here, and I think that I finally figured out that nuts are making me nuts.

On Sunday, I made this coconut chicken, as I mentioned earlier, and it had peanut butter in it. In the past, nuts haven’t really bothered me – as far as I knew. Monday morning, my skin was horrible!

I also made the connection that any time I get strict with my diet (paleo/primal) I tend to eat more nuts. Usually, I stick to almonds, cashews, mac nuts. I love them. And when I’m eating healthy, I’ll have more of them in my diet.

This explains why my skin gets worse when I’m eating healthy. When I give up the health, I tend not to eat many nuts.

So – I’ve been really bland this week. No nuts. Nothing that would make my skin worse, and it is really clearing up. I feel more hopeful again, and happy about eating Paleo without having such horrible skin. Fingers crossed this is my problem, and from here on out, I’ll have success with a clean-eating lifestyle AND better skin.

I want Candy

I’m addicted to sweets. I know, who isn’t.

I did really well the first three days, but today, my sweets cravings are going to drive me crazy.

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mmmmm….chocolate…

I am trying to think of some kind of way to trick myself. I know that I don’t really need sugar. I know that I’m just addicted to it. I know that if I give it enough time, the cravings will disappear.

I also know that I’ve cut down my carbs a lot, so the sweets cravings may actually be me crying out for glucose in any form. I am trying to become “fat adapted,” but this doesn’t mean I want to be ketogenic. It’s okay for me to burn some glucose.

So – I might be craving cookies or brownies or something horrible, but that’s not what I actually need.

Some ideas:

  1. I can try to simply eat more fat. I’ve been pretty conscientious of this, actually. Of course, today I didn’t have any eggs at all (that’s for another blog post). I also usually have some coconut milk with a shot of coconut oil, and I just wasn’t feeling it this morning. So, maybe I just need more fat.
  2. I’ve been tired today. I woke up tired. I got plenty of sleep, and felt like I should wake up, so I woke up. However, I think that I might have needed a little bit more sleep. I took a nap and am feeling a little bit better. Feeling tired always seems to make me crave not-good-for-me-foods.
  3. I might be starving myself of glucose. As in, I might be going too low-carb. Not sure. I haven’t tracked any of my macronutrients. I’m not sure how I feel about being too low carb. I’ve done it in the past, but then it always leads to the same thing – an eventual gorge-fest of carby foods. I really like Mark Sisson’s approach – being both a glucose burner and a fat burning “beast.” And being able to transition between the two easily.
    If this is the case – then I need to be sure I’m having some kind of starchy vegetable (which I haven’t had any of yet), or maybe fruit every once in a while. Obviously, I don’t want to overdo it on the fruit if I want to lose weight, but a little bit – some berries or a very small serving of some other fruit – probably won’t hurt me. And maybe that’s just what I need.

 

Well, I think that I did the best thing I could possibly do for now. Instead of eating anything, I sat down and typed up this blog post. Even though I want candy, treats, cookies, whatever, I know that I don’t! I don’t want to sacrifice my long-term health for this short term craving.

Maybe in the future, when I’m craving sweets, I’ll sit down and write a few hundred words about this – and then discover what I actually want and what I should do about it. Perhaps just taking a few moments to diffuse those thoughts will help me from mindlessly reaching for treats whenever the craving strikes.

What do you do when you crave sweets? What do you do to stave off sweets cravings? What do you think that your body is trying to tell you when you have these cravings?

Ceasar (ish) Salad Dressing Recipe

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The Goods

Salad…I will admit, I love a good salad. It’s not because I’m some kind of health nut and am superior to others. Nope, it’s all about taste. Which means, I like a salad that tastes good.

I don’t understand the people who claim, “I prefer salad without dressing.” blech. First of all, I’m pretty sure that they are lying. Second of all, I wonder what is motivating this senselessness – is it because they think that salad without dressing is healthier?

If you think that a salad without dressing is healthier, then you may be mistaken. Many of the vitamins and minerals that are found in veggies (especially Vitamins A and K) are fat soluble. If you want the benefit of these vitamins, then you need to eat them with fat! So, put on some salad dressing.

Of course, I don’t mean that you should use a salad dressing made with PUFAs and loaded with sugar. CRAP! Instead, use a good monounsaturated oil (or you can put some fat in your salad using saturated fat like cheese, avocado) to make your salad dressing.

Since I’m an Italian-American, and I’m pretty much obsessed with my food tasting good, you’ll want to use a good quality oil – like Olive Oil, paired with a some type of acid. In this recipe, we’ll use Lemon juice. Good, good, good.

So, here’s the recipe:

Ceasar’s Salad Dressing

    • Lemon Juice – 1 to 1 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
    • Olive Oil – I don’t know. A few ounces. I usually add as much oil as lemon juice. Do according to your taste. You might want just a little bit more oil than lemon juice, but not much.
    • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce – I use this instead of anchovies. I think that anchovies might be healthier, and I will probably be experimenting with this in the future. I just didn’t have any on hand.
    • 1 heaping tbsp Dijon Mustard
    • 2-3 Cloves fresh minced or crushed garlic
    • 1/3 – 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese – seriously. Get good stuff. I buy my Parm. cheese at Costco. It’s worth using the good stuff. I promise.
    • Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
    • Sea Salt (the good stuff – with real trace minerals), to taste

It’s pretty simple. Combine these ingredients, and then pour on some roughly chopped Romaine lettuce.

I love the light and fresh taste of this salad dressing.