I need a healthier relationship with food
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Food—my go to with stress lately has been Halo Top ice cream and pizza. Those two things are the only things that come even close to appealing to me. To keep from getting too out of hand, I’ve my favorite chunky monkey frozen smoothie at home and added greens and nuts. I’ve gotten smaller thin crust pizzas with less cheese and more veggie toppings. It’s a start.
For the past several years, I’ve been trying to eat healthier. The stress in my life has also made a steady climb in growth; fortunately my ability to manage that stress has kept up for the most part. With all the extra hours, ranging from early mornings to late evenings depending on the situation for the day, I just flat out don’t feel like fixing anything. I have tried to take advantage of those few times where I felt motivated—I made up a few bags of crock pot meals and put them in the freezer. I’ve got a small 2 qt crockpot that I keep at work so I can put food on in the morning when I get there and have something healthy to graze on during the day (provided I remember to bring it back to work after washing it).
So, back to food. Whole food plant based diet. No added sugar or artificial sweeteners (organic honey and maple syrup is okay in small amounts; erythritol seems okay as it doesn’t trigger that craving for sweets). That has been my target, my long term goal. I’m finding hard to stay motivated with it when everyone around me eats elsewise. Hubby’s had his large intestine removed and a j-pouch put in so he no longer has an ostomy. His diet consists of meat and carbs, and sweets. He hasn’t figured out what veggies he can eat that don’t cause plumbing problems. Workwise— about the same. At least I don’t have to worry about anyone getting into my food. So that’s one reason I have trouble staying motivated.
Another, what to eat so that my blood sugar doesn’t feel like it’s dropping. Frequent small snacks (I’ve got applesauce and cashews at work) would help. Days I work the floor, though, that’s easier said than done. [the beeping’s never ending, someone’s cramping or has their BP dropping]. I do carry around protein/energy type bars just in case. I’m learning which ones keep me and which ones tend to make me feel like my blood sugar’s dropping. (I’m not diabetic, but it runs in my family and I’m trying to avoid it.)
Meat just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. If it’s the only option (like when the big boss buys us lunch w/o veggie options), I’ll eat it. Sometimes I get a craving for salmon—Pacific wild/hatchery salmon not Atlantic farm-raised salmon that’s got color added or has been fed food higher in PCBs that the sediments I’d been cleaning up in my previous career. I don’t want any crawdads/shrimp that’s originated in China (I’ve long since quit eating at Red Lobster). I’ve seen dairies, veal “prisoner of war camps”, chicken houses (and have friends that have worked in the local chicken processing plant) and the trucks loaded with cages and cages of chickens. I don’t want to eat anything that’s been given a lot of antibiotics and growth hormones and has been treated inhumanly. Just watch the meat sequence of the movie “Samsara.”
Then there’s the spiritual practice of no killing other sentient beings. If I remember right, one of the Buddha’s teachings talked about this — since the monks would go out for alms and couldn’t really restrict what was given to them, was it okay to still eat meat? It was permissible as long as it was not killed by the individual, for the individual, or the meal was not made specifically for the individual. I’ve also heard about balancing karma — killing a larger being brings more bad karma, but that is often balanced by the fact that the larger being can feed a lot more people. It’s overwhelming thinking this then going in to Sams or Costco and see the vast quantities of meat in there for sale. Do we have any clue where our food comes from? Do we even think about it?
And then there’s all the diets out there—ugh. Weightwatchers doesn’t really work for me mentally (I’m more focused on the types of nutritional balance rather than just calories and points). Noom doesn’t have enough info on their website to make it worth even trying. I don’t fall for all the eat more protein and fat and less carbs; grain avoidance; etc. My personal belief/goal is that whatever I eat should be balanced for what my body needs to maintain a healthy state and not fill out with a lot of excess body fat. Carbs? — legumes, whole grains are just fine as are fruits. It kills me (mentally) seeing my husband eat the diet he does.
I guess in an ideal world, I would have sufficient time and sleep to grow my own food, preserve and share it, and exercise on a regular basis (be that in the yard or gym). Maybe it’s not the relationship with food that needs improving, but my ability to ritualize my day so that I can get enough sleep, have enough time for exercise, have enough time and energy to “Grow Food Not Lawns”
In terms of lifestyle/diet plans, SparkPeople has worked just fine when I’ve worked it. I’ll keep coming back.