breaking free from six decades of tyranny

Posts tagged ‘self image’

Worry-Free Holiday Eating

This is an epic holiday season for me. Epic.

For 60 years, I have dreaded the holiday season while salivating uncontrollably. MyBrattyTasteBuds would be screaming “Bring It On!” while my Brain was cowering in the corner of the kitchen in the fetal position, not an ounce of fight left in it.

My non-Paleo signature treat

My non-Paleo signature treat

My signature holiday goodie was a recipe a friend shared with me years ago that was actually on the back of a chocolate chip bag. Amazingly, no one in my circle of friends and family ever saw that recipe, so it gradually became Mine. If someone would have handed me a plate of these More Delicious Than Snickers bars and I ate one or two, Brain would have been OK. But BrattyTasteBuds would insist on making double recipes, cutting off the ragged sides to make perfect bars, and eating said ragged edges so thoroughly no one ever knew they existed. There are a lot of ragged sides on my double recipes.

Back to the Epic Nature of this holiday season. MyBrattyTasteBuds and my Brain are so very happy together now that there is no war. There are no little battles. There is true joy and peace in this household. There are some Paleo goodies around, and they are so satisfying that BrattyTasteBuds politely enjoy a reasonable amount, and then take a long nap. Brain is free to think about more important things than taming taste buds.

Paleo Treats

Paleo Treats made by my daughter. Full of healthy fats and protein!

It is the most amazing thing to be craving-free during the holiday season. It is the most amazing thing to be guilt-free at this time of the year. Amazing. And Epic.

(Recipes for Paleo Treats are easily found online!)

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Satisfaction. Guaranteed. Part 2

In Satisfaction Guaranteed Part 1, I talked about my feelings and blood work numbers before and after my Paleo eating change. I showed my BrattyTasteBud Training Regimen (Short Version):

More Water
More Veggies
More Good fats
More quality protein
Very little grains
Little dairy
Little sugar
Unsweetened black coffee as treat

I gave details about drinking more water and eating more veggies. Now it’s on to the rest of the Training Plan.

Examples of healthy fats and oils

  1. Fats. The Worst Word in the Diet Dictionary, right? We’ve been told for so long that fat is bad that we don’t even question it anymore. We’ve replaced fats in our diet with so many other substitutes that our bodies are totally starved for the benefits of fats. Not convinced? There is much solid information about the need for good fats in our diet. Here’s a place to start: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/healthy-eating_b_629422.html. I also love www.marksdailyapple.com for great information about fats. I have found that eating reasonable amounts of good fats (avocado, nuts, nut oils, coconut oil, ghee) is self-limiting. A dollop here, a spoonful there (while cooking, snacking or in a meal) makes MyBrattyTasteBuds very happy. My body is quite satisfied for longer periods as it uses this fuel it’s been designed to burn. SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.
  2. Protein eaten as close to its natural state makes MyBuds swoon. Organic eggs, grass-fed beef, minimally processed chicken and turkey, organic raw nuts, nut butters and nut milks are all featured in my meals. I found that eating roasted nuts, even unsalted ones, triggered fist-to-mouth overeating, a clear signal for me that something was off. When I stick to the least-tampered-with choices … SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.
  3. Grains used to be my drug of choice. I do not say that lightly. MyBrattyTasteBuds led me into many a dark alley lined with donut shops, massive cinnamon rolls, pecan pies, light and fluffy breads, rich cakes, fresh summer corn on the cob, oatmeal, chewy artisan breads … and I indulged at will. MyBrattyTasteBuds fought me on this one, big time. Every time I contemplated eliminating grains, they would begin to chant: “You’ll never be able to do it!” If I’m perfectly honest, they are right to a degree. I still eat one piece of sprouted grain bread a day to keep my grain monsters at bay. However, my body has been very clear that blood-sugar spikers such as white bread and kettle corn bring on massive migraines. I would not have discovered the cause of my migraines had I not taken out the grains, and then indulged in one, only to get slammed with the headache. Very soon, I am going to experiment with getting rid of that last piece of daily grain. We will see if I am satisfied!
  4. Dairy has never been high on my list of must-haves … except for ice cream … and that leads right into sugar. MyBrattyTasteBuds always preferred their sugar wrapped in some kind of bread, preferably deep-fried or laden with unhealthy fats. Ice cream on the side used to be perfectly acceptable. I put dairy and sugar reduction at the bottom of my Training Plan because they were the easiest to cut. If I was consistent with water, veggies, good fats and high-quality protein, I didn’t even think about dairy and sugary foods. (There is a very nice coconut-based frozen “ice cream” that MyBuds love.) SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.
  5. Coffee. Full of anti-oxidants. I have never wanted anything in my coffee but the good old bean and water. I nurse four espresso shots over 24 to 36 hours and don’t give it much thought. The smell of coffee brings strong, positive emotional responses for me. If there is a downside to coffee, the emotional boost I get outweighs it. SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.

If you have BrattyTasteBuds and decide to give any of my Training Plan a try, let me know. I would love to hear your questions, experiences, challenges and successes!

Summer Paleo Cobbler

Farmer’s Markets are the BEST! I scoped out the Boise (Idaho) Saturday Market this week with my daughter and two of her daughters. Three-generational outings make my heart smile!

Boise has a strong population of refugees. Many hard-working men, women and children lovingly nurture mini-farms as part of the Global Gardens program. We stopped at one of their stands and bought green beans and one bunch of a leafy African green (I can’t remember their name, but it started with an “m”. Let me know if YOU know what they are called and I’ll update this post.)

It was Berry Day at the Market. I picked up blackberries and boysenberries to share with my 92-year-old berry-lovin’ mother-in-law. (She loved them!)

In the evening I used them to make my No-Bake Paleo “Cobbler”.

Berry Cobbler

Coconut Milk, Agave Nectar, Go Raw Ginger Cookies

Making this Cobbler involves placing berries, coconut milk, cinnamon, and a squirt of agave nectar (depending on sweetness of berries) in a bowl, and crumbling the cookies on top. That’s it.

Summer Yummer, for sure!

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.

What is Dripping Down My Neck?

Growing up in south Texas was a very sweaty experience. My friends and I ran around in the heat of muggy summer days without a thought about how red our faces were or how much our skin glistened. Who cared?

perspiration

When I hit junior high, I cared. Sweat really ruined my hair design (straight was “in” and sweat curled it crazily), and felt absolutely awful dripping down my back and chest. I learned to dislike sweating. A lot. I learned to avoid sweat-inducing situations … like exercising in hot weather.

But lately, I’ve been sweating more, even in the deliciously dry heat of southern Idaho. Even in the cooler morning hours. What’s up with that?

Could it be a good thing?

Turns out it may be that my body is working more efficiently. More blood is going to the surface of my skin, which in turn releases heat from my core. My sweat glands increase output to cool the body. It appears “fit people produce more sweat than sedentary folks.” http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/conditioning/a/aa052001a.htm

So I am learning to tolerate that annoying dripdripdrip hitting my neck and shoulders. It is a sign of life.

What Motivates Me …

My daughter flew off to the Crossfit Games in California last week. She is still pumped from the experience. She got to meet fantastic athletes and she brought her enthusiasm back to the E3 box in Eagle, Idaho where she coaches and I where I push myself beyond my preconceived ideas of what my body is capable of doing.

jump rope

Like today. I can’t do double unders with the jump rope. So until I figure them out, I have to triple the prescribed number of double unders and perform that many single jumps. Today that meant 90 single jumps. But wait! There were 7 rounds. So that was a total of 630 single jumps. But wait! In between each set of 90 single rope jumps, there were 7 chest to bar pull ups (that I modify by jumping up to the bar from a platform). So that was a total of 49 pull ups.

And I did it. I remember the day a few months ago I had to do 300 single rope jumps and inside I was cursing and crying and whining and panting and thinking I would NEVER do THAT again.

Huh.

Funny how a little belief in the old self can chip away at all the years of disbelief.

What motivates me? The coaches at my box who quietly expect me to try, even if I whine. Who say good job and give me a fist bump when I complete new moves and hard WODs. Who tear up when I complete a BIG round of lifts that I didn’t think I could do. Who correct my many errors in form so I can stay healthy. And all the others Crossfitters who sweat beside me and cheer me on and validate that a 60 year old woman DOES have a place in a Crossfit box.

And these women: Row-Clean-Burpee: Women 60+ | CrossFit Games.

I know that I could have done the 1000 meter row, because I have done it. I am working on cleans and getting better. Now that I’ve seen these athletes bang out 50 burpees, I can work on hating them less and just try to get ’em done! Not saying I’m aiming for the Games, but if I pretend I am …. who knows?

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.

Resource for Stubborn Taste Buds

www.amazon.com

My daughter, who has been my role model for my journey this last year, recommended this book. So I just got the Kindle version, and now I can have everything at my fingertips.

This book has a great section on eating Paleo (which I’ve been *mostly* doing since January and dramatically reduced my LDL cholesterol) and a great section on the kinds of exercise I’ve been doing for 2 months (dramatically reducing the number of migraines I’ve had while increasing muscle tone, strength, flexibility). I don’t think the exercises are called Crossfit in the book, but the moves are the ones I do at my Crossfit gym.

It shows how to feed kids the Paleo way, and tells of how the author’s children benefitted (including some behavior improvements).

I am excited to try some new recipes!

Brats, behave!

It’s beeen said before. The older you get, the harder it is to lose weight, to get in shape. In my previous efforts to drop pounds, it was hard at first, but soon I’d get over a hump and it got easier. Not that way so much anymore.

Every ounce has been residing comfortably in my body for decades, aided and abetted by my bratty taste buds. Every ounce wants to stay, make no mistake about this. The longer I let them stay, the more stubborn they become.

There is some good news. I am making progress with my bratty taste buds, but the battles continue. Just as I tame the sugar-monsters, the salty-dogs rise up to cause trouble, sneaking in when I’m not looking. I don’t see them coming. Plus I tend to underestimate their power.

Bratty Taste Buds, give me a break here!

A little history …

My five pound, some-odd-ounce birth weight did not foreshadow a petite physique. My bratty taste buds started getting me in trouble early on. When I was seven, I got a little brother who needed to be fed. He was kind of like a doll who could sit up in his Baby Tenda and open his mouth for incoming baby food. Or not. If not, I’d eat the spoonful. Soon I could easily eat the jar of Fruit Dessert, sparing him a few slurps along the way. I was fired from feeding duty. No more Fruit Dessert for my bratty taste buds.

My bratty taste buds (MBTBs) started with small victories such as these, but quickly moved on. They demanded, cried, wrung their little tentacles and pitched fits. And I got sucked into their game … just fed ’em whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted it. The junior high school chefs made glorious deep fried cinnamon rolls the size of my head; eating one every morning after breakfast kept MBTBs smiling. After lunch, an individual pecan pie satisfied the brats. After school, I would get off the bus in front of the 7Eleven, head in and blow my allowance on convenience store cuisine; MBTBs wanted that haul before dinner.

My bratty taste buds were verrrry sly. I didn’t even know they were there. They just waited quietly in the wings like a predator waiting for prey: anything with sugar. And fat. And a little salt. Well, they didn’t always just wait. Sometimes they controlled me like a robot, sniffing out prey and moving me into range for the kill. There was no escaping MBTBs in a feeding frenzy. None.

But finally, the day came when the world discovered Twiggy and I discovered my bratty taste buds. I wasn’t exactly fat. But I had heft. Like a fool, I thought I could beat MBTBs into submission easily. Oh, I had no idea what I was in for!

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