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.