Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Really Random Tuesday - Clean Eating

I love this whole "random" concept...because that's where my brain is right now...random thoughts...I sat down this morning to finish a review of a book I read months ago (thank heavens I kept notes bc I barely remember most of the story now) and ended up writing about clean eating.
Oh well. 
Here we go.

In June I began a low carb diet...specifically following the guidelines of the South Beach Diet.  I quickly lost 10 pounds.  Really, I did.  Most of the clothes in my closet fit again, and I've re-gained some self-confidence that I had lost while gaining the unwanted pudge...thanks to daily does of peanut M&M's and Barq's root beer.  However, the most important thing I've gained is a new respect for my body...not the way it looks, but the way it feels.  When I first started South Beach, I wanted to claw my eyes out when the cravings were in full swing. 
 I. really. did.  
I wanted donuts, chips, soft white bread, warm cookies, etc...and I wanted them bad.
I honestly don't want these things anymore.
As good as some of these things taste, they are not worth the trade-off...feeling sluggish, stomach aches, bloating, and of course unwanted extra pounds that make my clothes fit tight again.
Notice the "clothes fit tight again" part was the last thing I listed.
You see, eating well has made me feel better.
I am calmer (imagine that); I can handle things better (yes, indeed), I have more energy (as much as a 44 year old woman can have), I am more alert, and I am enjoying every day of my life.
Because I don't put crap in my body anymore.
Now, let me honest here and tell you that while in Chicago I did have a piece of Caramel Pecan Turtle cheesecake...ok, ok, I had two...but on two different nights.
Was it worth it?
Sure.  Special occasions call for special treats.
But, because the sugary, carbolicious, creaminess was a "special treat" it affected neither my weight nor my belly.  
The hot dog and pretzel I ate at the Cubs game Monday night, not so much worth it.
I thought I wanted it...bc hot dogs and baseball go together, right?
Not for me anymore...and I don't even want it.
Let me be clear here...I'm not proposing any diet...I started on South Beach but now follow a variety of low carb, clean eating plans.  One of the best I've found lately is The Gracious Pantry.

I was on Pinterest one day looking for ideas on how to make a cleaner Chai tea.  I LOVE the Chai tea from Starbucks, but once you let go of white sugar, you'll be astonished at how oversweetened things taste.  Almost syrupy...which is amazing that I used to drink/eat that stuff and want more.
Sounds like an addict right?
Um, yeah...that's exactly my point.

I found this recipe which led me right into The Gracious Pantry where I disappeared for over an hour :/

Anybody else get lost in Pinterest and wake up hours later wondering how in the world you got there?
Yeah, me too.

The key for me is not letting myself get hungry...I keep an abundance of foods in our house and in my office for snacks and emergencies. In my office right now, there are almonds, pistachios, a box of Kind bars, and even some of the more expensive South Beach Bars (just in case I forget my lunch).  At home we keep apples, other kinds of nuts, Special K Protein Plus cereal (my after school snack), all kinds of raw veggies and leftovers of clean recipes.

I have developed an eating schedule including a mandatory morning and afternoon snack.  If I skip the snacks, and the hunger pains inevitably begin, a sortof "panic" sets in pretty quickly...you know, that "OMG, I'm never going to get anymore food, ever in my whole life so let's just shovel anything and everything I can get my hands on into my mouth" kindof panic?  
That feeling, right there, is why diets that require skipping meals and 500 calories per day don't work.  
Our bodies need fuel...NEED...I didn't say "like to have it" or "want" or "prefer," I said NEED.  If we don't feed our bodies, they will DEMAND us to feed them...to the point of dizziness or passing out even if we let the "starvation" go on too long...it's all about getting your attention.

As long as I provide my body with the right kind of fuel, fuel it can break down and actually use, I don't have to feel hungry.
I do not like hungry.
Hate it.

Last week in Chicago, the powers that be thought they would offer us pastries for breakfast each day...scuse me?? 
Uh-uh, nope, not gonna happen.  What used to look really tasty to me now looked like the stomach ache that I knew it would produce.  I ended up ordering myself an omelet from room service for the rest of the week.  A little on the expensive side, yes...but guess what??
I'm worth it.

I have 3 daughters...and if I teach them anything, I'd like to know that I've taught them to take care of themselves.  They have to want it though, and I'll let them figure it out along the way.  A big test for us will be our upcoming Thanksgiving feast and Christmas Cookie marathon...but I think we're up for the challenge...we'll still have some of our traditional fare, but I'll also be sneaking in a few new recipes.
Can't wait!

Let me know in the comments if you've found some other great Clean Eating/Low Carb family and recipe friendly sites to get lost in :)
Because, well, that's just what I need...more distractions ;)


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    1. Peppermint, thanks for doing "my meme", Really Random Tuesday, which seems to have taken on a life of its own. :)

      I think the important thing is to make healthy food choices, without going overboard. I look at it this way: what you eat becomes your body, so it's a good idea to eat as well and naturally as possible.

    2. Suko, I completely forgot that you started this "randomness"! I had every intention of posting various random tidbits after I started typing but then continued to type about the eating thing for the entire post...which I guess made my post not so random after all :)

  2. Here's cheering you on your healthy dieting!:-)

    1. Thanks!! It's truly becoming a way of life! :)

  3. I don't really subscribe to a diet per se, I just keep my calories at a certain level (which sort of regulates what you eat...you can eat more and stay full and stay within your calories if you aren't gorging on donuts!). And I workout. I drink less wine (none during the week and none before I run). So that basically wiped off about 40 pounds. It was pretty amazing.

    1. I think the first 10 pounds for me was a learning experience. I don't do well counting calories...I just cannot keep up with the numbers :(
      I have cut back on alcohol as well...I only allow myself a cocktail one weekend evening now and that's plenty. The dogs and I are still walking; last night we walked in the pasture behind our house and had a blast...high steps over the tall grass, cool wind, and my GSD Layla getting to bound like a horse off the leash!
      I'm not so much a South Beach follower anymore but use the diet as a resource or motivation when needed. I also like The Sonoma Valley Diet and Connie Guttersen's ideas on following a more back to nature kind of diet. The older I get, the more I don't digest some of that stuff as well anymore either so it's a no-brainer for me really. If I want to feel good, I have to do my part :)

  4. I tried South Beach once and lost about 17 lbs. I am not a sugar queen though and with the gluten free diet that I am forced to live by anyway, I find that my body is better off but not skinnier. My body has learned to not lose even with clean living so it's a bit depressing at the moment.

    1. I've only lost 15 pounds overall. I would like to lose about 10 more but like you, my body is rebelling. I know it's age and slow metabolism though so I'm just gonna do what I do, enjoy life, and have a bite of cheesecake every now and then. I think looking good is only important if you feel good. I know some skinny women who go around hungry all the time...I'm not willing to do that.

  5. So, so wonderful that you lost that extra 10 pounds! I wish that I could lose some, but it's not in the cards right now!