Thursday, February 10, 2011

Food thoughts/a reflection on this year.

This is me on my day off. I'm taking some time to reflect on our food plans, since this is a primary role in my new married life. I love it. Sometimes it's a little overwhelming, but I look forward to times when I can peruse recipe sites, other blogs, recipe books, and people's success stories with various eating habits.

Confession: my biggest weakness is bread, or bread like foods-pancakes, waffles, bagels, pizza, noodles, and then the sweeter versions like cakes and cookies. I can very easily eat a large amount of any of these options without a second thought. Well, maybe a second thought, but definitely not a third thought.

Alex and I attempted to "go primal" or low carb a while back, and I got very frustrated because I wanted my chocolate chip cookies and ice cream (which isn't a bread but is equally enticing). We did this before we got married, right after Valentines day last year. He suggested the idea because I was afraid that I wouldn't fit into my wedding dressing, and he lovingly wanted to help. He lost 20 lbs, and I maybe lost five, but I didn't stick to the plan as well as I should have. Plus, stress with school and wedding was not conducive to my plan because I still ate when I wasn't hugry-low carb only works when you eat until you are full. Also, I really enjoy eating legumes (black beans, chili, certain nuts) and the paleo diet was not a fan as far as I could tell. Sometime I don't feel like eating meat.

When I started tracking my food on sparkpeople, I became increasingly successful. It ultimately didn't matter what I ate, as long as I stayed within the parameters of the sparkpeople website. I still feel that this is an effective way to lose weight or at least maintain. The process of admitting everything that I consumed helped me to limit myself. They encourage consuming fruits and veggies, but ultimately the numbers don't reflect a big difference between an apple and a pancake. Actually, I have problems getting enough protein, and sometimes a whole wheat pancake has enough protein to help me reach my goal.

The biggest problem with this plan is that I would eat a large portion of my calories in pancakes, bagels, breads, and other indulgences. Once I decided I had "reached my limit for the day" I had no room for the  friendly fruits and veggies that I should have been eating in the first place. This is my present predicament.

Recently Alex showed me an email linked to a MDA (Mark's Daily Apple) success story. Today I again have reviewed a number of stories and articles on this website. One of the suggestions was to reflect and write about what worked and what didn't. Thus, this blog. Next, he suggested writing out three goals and  what I will do today, this week, and this quarter to accomplish this goal. Goals may come in another blog, but for now I will end with these thoughts on the topic:

1. One major focus is avoiding processed foods.

For the most part, we don't eat pre-packaged meals, but we do enjoy veggies that are canned and frozen. This is the reality, and I'm OK  with this part of the plan. They are more affordable, and much easier to prepare.

2. One suggested goal is to "completely eliminate grains from diet"

I have an eerie feeling that if I eliminate grains, I will actually replace them with the fruits and veggies I am supposed to be eating. Eerie, because I know that would most likely be a struggle. Also, I still have plenty of bread and noodles. Not a ton, but enough that I think "I don't want to waste it!"

This is a silly thought. Most of our grains are either in the freezer, or in uncooked noodle/rice/flour/cornmeal form, which means they will keep for sometime. If I want to make them for company or to bring to a friend's house, I can still use them in the future. However, I don't have to eat them right away.

3. Although the results of the primal diet are clearly effective, I do not agree with their over-arching believe about the origins of human life.

This may be silly, but I like to be "all or nothing" when following a plan. I like to participate in blogs, conversations, and be able to promote an idea as a whole. This may not be realistic, but it's how I feel. The thought behind "grok" and the primal way of eating is basic evolution, and that grains did not come into the picture for thousands of years. The "hunting and gathering" principle is key, and even exercise should be practical.

But I don't believe in evolution. I believe that God created us in His image. I believe that His creation was "good" and late corrupted by sin. I believe in the story of Cain and Abel where Cain harvested crops-so it seems grains have been around for an equal amount of time.

This really may be a silly, minor, insignificant detail, but I still feel uneasy about following the plan to perfection.

I do, however, think that
1. Many processed foods are not how God originally intended.
2. Cutting any number of grains out of our diet would increase our consumption of fruits and veggies.
3. Protein is important, but I'm not about to cut out the legumes in order to cut down carbs.

Seems like I've come up with some type of "goals" after all.


  1. Good post! I wanted to encourage you with my own story.. when my doctor made me cut out grains, I saw serious results in my health and my weight. For one, I'm a carb girl too and ate a lot of sugary and bread-type things, so merely cutting those out made my calorie count go down immediately. For two, grains are kinda rough on the digestive system just in general, so taking a break from them for a while is beneficial for anyone, I think. You're right bout it being a struggle, especially the first few weeks... but once you get used to it, your body feels so much healthier. I lost about twenty pounds in five months (this was also from eating mostly raw though - but I KNOW that cutting out gluten-based products helped a lot).

    Legumes are important for protein, so you're wise in not cutting those out :) Those are the "good" carbs!

    Also I understand your hesitation about the Primal's over-arching beliefs. Kind of iffy. You're wise to listen to the 'check' in your spirit :)

    A little more advice: when you get hungry between meals, drink whole juice! it helps curb the cravings. (that is, if you can reconcile that with your personal diet goals - it does add calories. otherwise, just drink tonsssssss of water) Also, eating more, smaller meals throughout the day always helps me from cheating because I felt less hungry throughout the day. AND variety is key! It's easy to get tired of fruits and veggies and legumes, and then revert to the more interesting tasting grains and sugary items. That was the hardest part for me.

    Haha I know I'm going crazy here, sorry!! But I've been there and I want to encourage you :) Hope at least something I've said helps out :)

    I admire you for sharing this, Calista! You're doing great. If you ever want to talk about any of it, I'd be happy to share more of my experiences :P Blessings on your family and your goals!

  2. Just a little add on to Kelli's- juice is good for when you're hungry mid-day, but she's right that those calories add up quickly. Drinking lots of water helps, like she said! You can tell when "hunger" is real or just a craving after you've had a tall glass of ice cold water.

    But what I was going to add was to simple make sure you have lots of apples and bananas around the house. Nutritious and loooow in calories. And they're good calories anyway. I snack on those whenever I'm hungry and I'm currently in the middle of trying to lose weight, it really helps!

    Anyways, good post :)