Friday, May 19, 2017

Food log

This link seems to work.  This is the app I'm using to log food.  It's fun.  I don't know how long I'll do it, just thought I'd try it out.   There's what I'm eating if you want to see it.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Challenge Update, Intermittent Fasting is da bomb, and a new food log

1.  Challenge Update:  I had a bunch of nuts and dates about 5 days ago.  Here is how the addict (or crazed eater, whatever you want to call it) mind thinks:  I had dates in the house because some of Chef AJ’s UWL recipes call for them.  I am obsessed with walking, hiking, the Appalachian Trail and backpacking.  I was realizing that walnuts have twice the calorie density of my dehydrated food, so I would save weight and volume if I ate 1-2 oz of walnuts a day while backpacking.  So somehow that led to buying nuts and combining them with the dates had at home (no, this doesn’t make sense).  That also involved peanut butter which weren’t even in the discussion.  I think that’s pretty funny and shows how easy it is for me to break a commitment.  I’m not upset, just laughing at myself.   I think deep down I’m not convinced that I need to give up nuts.  And I’m okay with that.  However, I am not really interested in eating them most of the time.  I’d rather eat sweet potatoes any day.  And I’m curious if eating no high-fat foods affects my health in any way I can observe.  So I think I will keep track of time away from nuts and see if I notice any effects of it.  I went 50 days in Feb/Mar when I didn’t eat nuts, and noticed no ill effects.  I’m not even sure my skin was dryer.  My hair was, so I washed it less, not really a problem.  I downloaded this app called T-zero which is a timer.  So I reset the timer after my delicious nut/date binge and I’ll just see how long I go.  I will allow 1 Tbsp of flaxseed whenever I want it and that won’t count as nut consumption.

I set some other timers too, one for salt and one for UWL abstinence (sugar, flour, alcohol).   Salt is another one of those I’m just curious about.  I’m used to no added salt, but I usually succumb to the mandate that you need it while backpacking in the desert, so I’ve added small amounts there and I’ve added small amounts in the past here and there.  I’m curious to study no-added-salt in the context of exercise this summer.   The streak will be broken on rare occasions where I’m eating something someone else prepared that is otherwise compliant and has a small amount of added salt (like at a UWL potluck).  And that’s okay with me. UWL abstinence is  the one that matters the most to me, no sugar, flour and alcohol.  Alcohol isn’t a problem for me but every time I ate sugar and flour in the last 5 years, the result was a binge.  So forget that!  Right now my abstinence streak is at 27 days, as is my no-salt streak.  

2.  Intermittent Fasting (IF):  I’ve tried this in the past and HATED it!  Hated it I tell you!   So why am I doing it now?   Well I’ve only been doing it for 5 days so maybe I’ll hate it soon.  But I’m kind of liking it now.  It just seems like  an easy way to control my eating.  I only have one off and on switch per day.  For some reason that’s easier than being moderate and temperate all day long (that’s hard!) .   Plus I like the idea of giving my body a rest from digestion.  I listened to Jennifer Marano talk about it in this interview with Chef AJ and she said it’s good for us to get comfortable with discomfort.   I read a book a few months about about this topic (discomfort, not IF) by Marc Schoen (Your Survival Instinct is Killing You) and maybe that prepared me for this idea that it’s good to be uncomfortable occasionally.

I’m trying out different lengths of eating/fasting windows.  I think a 6-8 hour eating window is good.   I’m sort of pushing the edges and going with 6 hours for a few days but I may back off from that, we’ll see.  Today towards the end of my fasting window, my mood was really high.  I wonder if that is just self-esteem from accomplishing my goal?  I don’t know but that was pretty nice.

3.  This app makes it easy to log food with pictures.  And for me, taking a picture pushes me to plate my food and then eat only what I plated, though it's flexible because I can eat more and just take another picture and it will add it to that meal if it's within 30 minutes.  I've only been using it for a day but I like it.  I'm not sure yet how to share it here.  I'll see if I can figure that out.  

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Day 9

I just wanted to update that a few days ago I ate too many pumpkin seeds.  That was the day I was without power and didn't have any cooked food so ate lots of fruit, and then started eating the seeds.  That wasn't necessary as I had plenty of canned beans.  I ate at most 3 oz.  So it wasn't a binge.  But I could feel the compulsion.   It was an out of sorts day food wise--more fruit than I'd like, less veggies.  Still I was using that as an excuse to eat more seeds.  It's funny, I'll eat anything to excess, so it may as well be LOTRL (left of the red line, that's UWL talk, Chef AJ's program).   I threw out the rest of the seeds and am happily eating UWL again.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Day 7 update

Today is a weather-imposed rest day so I thought I’d check in. We’ve been traveling for almost a week. I had a great 2-day backpacking trip that I finished yesterday. Today we have a severe windstorm, so the park (Smoky Mountains) is closed and the power is out. It was going to be a cooking day, but that’s not happening yet because the power is out, so my meals have been a little different than usual. I had raw spinach and fruit for breakfast, then a tablespoon of pumpkin and sesame seeds (total) to add some calories and hopefully satiation. Then we went grocery shopping and I bought a bunch of good stuff to cook up: sweet potatoes, and frozen stuff: onion, bell pepper, brussels sprouts, okra, turnip greens, corn and lima beans. That will be delicious! But I can’t cook that until the power goes on. So I ate some fruit from the grocery store and raw carrots. A few hours later I was feeling hungry so I opened a can of black beans and added a banana and some curry powder. It’s pretty good--not as good as chickpeas and banana but good enough. I ate half of it and I’ll probably eat the rest at dinner.
Once I cook up the other stuff, I’m hoping that will last for 3 days. And I have raw spinach and carrots and red bell pepper to go with that--those were the organic veggies that looked best in the grocery store.  Raw baby carrots are easy to find and enjoyable for me to eat so I let myself eat quite a lot, since good fresh raw organic veggies are not always easy to find on the road. But frozen (organic or not) veggies are easy to find anywhere and there is usually a good selection.
Hey, the electricity is back on! I knew opening that can of black beans would do it!
Update: here is my delicious food cooked up for the next 3 days!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

My eating and drinking history

I was thinking today that my eating history is like my drinking history. I tended to drink like those around me.  For the years I was living with my boyfriend, I drank daily because he did  (we also smoked 1-2 cigarettes a day and drank coffee).  Then when I lived alone, I drank several days a week, by myself or with others.  Then when I lived with Marilyn, she didn't drink so after a while I stopped at home, and when I was out with others I drank (they did too).  The worst was at astronomy conferences.  My friends drank a lot.  I wasn’t used to it and would get really drunk, even on modest amounts, and then really hungover.   Sometimes I got excessively drunk and excessively sick and hungover. Then eventually, the obvious hit me and I realized that the drinking culture in astronomy might not be a good thing. I had just assumed it was normal and therefore good by some definition, but it’s not. So I stopped drinking altogether. 

My history with food was kind of similar:  I used to eat the SAD diet all the time and I didn’t overeat or binge, I just ate that stuff all the time in normal amounts like everyone else. Then I started eating healthy and stopped eating processed foods most of the time. On the occasions when I ate them they were hyper stimulating, and even eating normal amounts for a day or 2 felt like a binge and made me sick. I’ve done this occasionally for the last 8 years. and it seems to me that it’s time to stop. There’s no good reason to do this. 

I hope my future with processed food is the same as my drinking turned out!

Friday, April 28, 2017

walking challenge

Since I seem to be in to challenges, I started another blog for my walking challenge.  I've really been enjoying walking lately and would love to do it every day.   I once logged my daily bike ride for a year and that was fun, so I'm hoping to do the same with walking.  ha!


I'm realizing this challenge is really about nuts.  All the other things on the list I am always happier doing without no matter what the situation, even if I tell myself differently beforehand.  But I've always had an exception for nuts because they are supposed to be healthy.  The problem is, they are kind of a "gateway drug" for me. They don't have the same drug-like effects and hangovers that sugar and flour do, but I have a hard time regulating their consumption, especially roasted peanuts and cashews.  But even the others:  pecans make me want dates (pecans and dates are just like pecan pie!), almond butter makes me want manna bread, raw cashews make me want grapes.  And all those combinations are very very hard for me to eat in moderation.  Plus after I fill up on this stuff, I get a stomach ache, and despite that, I want to continue to dopamine party so I often move on to the process foods with sugar, flour and oil and salt, and then I'm a goner.

I'm really curious to know if going without nuts will make me feel deprived.  Going a year without them will be a good test of this question!  Is life less enjoyable without them?  I'd like to find out.  Healthwise, I won't deprive myself of the following:  flax, chia, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.  So I will get all the healthy benefits--more actually--as nuts, if I feel I need them.