breaking free from six decades of tyranny

Archive for the ‘Challenges’ Category

Airport Paleo? Yes!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE to travel. The smell of jet fuel immediately gets all twenty types of endorphins flowing. I get giddy and tingly and expectant. But if the body is flooded with endorphins, it thinks something awful is coming. And it would be right.

Airline cuisine. Airport dining. Travel food in general. Not on anyone’s bucket list of dining experiences. Unless you adore tiny bags of miniature pretzels. Or love puny packages of peanuts.

Now try eating Paleo on planes. Ain’t gonna happen … gotta bring your own food. I can handle that. But the layovers at airports are often forced “cheat days” with foods I don’t even WANT to cheat with!

I was THRILLED this month to find not only a Paleo-worthy meal at the Salt Lake City airport, but a reasonably priced Paleo-worthy meal:

Greek Souvlaki Chicken Stick

This find was served at a Greek-themed food court establishment. They called it a Chicken Stick. It was offered as a side and priced under $5! The chicken was tender and succulent, the veggies grilled nicely and the whole thing seasoned superbly. I added a side salad … more great veggies and a delicious oil/vinegar dressing. I don’t usually go for dressings, but I devoured this!

Just thinking of that meal gets my happy chemicals flowing. Can’t wait to get back to the airport and have this again.

Vacation

I have taken MyBrattyTasteBuds on vacation. We are here in the land of Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, so I’ve been able to keep Buds pretty happy with familiar fare. But there are challenges (or opportunities, as Buds see it). My aunt is an incredible cook and my uncle an eater of traditional cuisine that embraces all food groups. So tonight is a family dinner of spaghetti and meat sauce, salad, garlic bread and homemade apple pie.

I will shred and sauté zucchini, and swap that out for the pasta. Buds won’t feel deprived with that as they’ve never been overly fond of pasta. We will see how they do with the garlic bread. I’m going to try to distract them by eating slowly and enjoying the flavors of the veggies and meat sauce.

I’ve made Paleo salted chocolate cups and Buds adore those.

It is, however, our plan to have some pie. With no regrets!

Addiction and Why Paleo People Don’t Eat Wheat

Last year, I mentioned a fact about my appetite to several people I’ve known all my life. These people have never had a weight problem. One belongs to an older generation, so she grew up on real homemade foods, and is an excellent cook. She does not eliminate any foods from her diet, but eats responsibly. The other is my age and has been vegan for many years.

I mentioned that no matter how much I ate, I never felt full. And along with that, I never really felt hungry. My appetite-o-stat was non-functional. I thought they would nod and say, “Yeah, me too.” I thought it was normal.

Nope. They looked very puzzled. Neither had any idea what I was talking about.

Those two moments started me on my quest to understand what was going on with me. I knew my weight fluctuations weren’t good for me, but I had been around lots of people who were on the same roller coaster as I was … hence, the feeling that there was something normal about it.

After reading about Wheat Belly I am wondering if MyBrattyTasteBuds were victims of a wheat addiction.

I did love bread. Breads. All kinds. One piece easily led to another. Sandwiched between episodes of bread eating was dessert eating. Sweet breads were my special delight. I won’t list them here because that would be kind of like remembering them in a worshipful way, which takes me to a dark place.

So perhaps MyBrattyTasteBuds didn’t really have a chance. Or really a choice. Once the wheat hit the system, it was BingeTime.

Dr. William Davis, in “Wheat Belly”: “For some people, wheat is addictive. And, in some people, it is addictive to the point of obsession… Understanding that wheat, specifically exorphins from gluten, have the potential to generate euphoria, addictive behavior, and appetite stimulation means that we have a potential means of weight control: Lose the wheat, lose the weight.” (page. 44).

[There is a lot more information about properties of wheat that apparently wreak havoc on our bodies in Dr. Davis’ book. On his blog, he makes this disclaimer: “Nothing here should be construed as medical advice, but only topics for further discussion with your doctor.”]

I am not totally wheat free, but I have cut dramatically down on wheat products. Like last night when cooking spaghetti for the grandkids, I taste tested a strand for done-ness. And I used a corner of a piece of bread to soak up some of the Paleo spaghetti sauce. But neither of those activities triggered a binge or even the desire for one. I admit to one piece of Ezekiel bread a day, but no binge trigger there either.

One payoff of eating Paleo for me? For the first time in my life, my appetite-o-stat is working. It feels AMAZING to feel hunger, eat the right amount of the right foods, and feel satiated afterwards. Understand, this is a new feeling for me.

And I’m *almost* a Paleo person who doesn’t eat wheat. Now I have a better idea why Paleo people don’t eat wheat.

CAUGHT in the Act!

Sooooo, Bratty Taste Buds, I understand you hijacked this blog and posted all about how misunderstood you are, how you have been laying low and waiting me out, how you are all about “love” and “malleability” and “kindness” and peace, joy and happiness.

Right? Riiiiiight!

So, why then, after saying how much you loved the Smoothie (and I truly believe that you did), did you go all RabidForChocolate on me? And what about the coconut cookie? And the ice cream? And I know there was more over-the-top noshing going on, but The Brain became enveloped in some kind of weird fog and lost touch with any form of dietary reality.

THAT’S why I’m still not able to trust you, Bratty Taste Buds. Just when I think you are truly happy, that little gleam sneaks into your eye (figuratively speaking of course) and before I know it, you have hijacked more than my technology … you are running rampant in the kitchen!

I realize I ran out of your favorite Paleo treat and that may have set you off. I also realize that I stocked up on some grandkid treats, making the pantry more like Disneyland than a health-food store. And I know from experience that the busier The Brain gets, the more demanding you get. And it was a very busy day.

But I don’t forgive you, yet. I am trying to create a wonderful world for you … a place you can inhabit and enjoy, a place that will meet all your needs, satisfy your cravings … essentially rock your socks off (again, in a figurative sense). Your world has to be able to co-exist with my world, the world of The Brain as you like to call it. Because The Brain is in charge of health.

And without health, Little Buds, there is no me. And if there is no me, there is no you.

Balancing the Guilt Factor

We are on a working vacation. So it’s not really a vacation. I’m away from my routine, my Vitamix, my Crossfit gym, and many of my go to foods. And currently watching slender Giada on the Today Show making sorbets and ice cream treats. Does she REALLY eat what she cooks? Unbelievable!

Last night after a day of running, walking, packing, cleaning and eating reasonably, we went to dinner. Here in California, every item on the menu lists its calories. So I chose well and had a great Paleo meal. But, hungry and tired, I gave into bread and wine.

Now that’s not a grave sin. But My Bratty Taste Buds are gloating a little. It feels like they won a little tug of war and I don’t like giving them even that at this point on my journey. If I had gone into the restaurant with a PLAN to have bread and wine, I’d be OK. But they snuck one in on me.

So I’m dealing with some guilt over this.

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