After days of reading, researching and experimenting a bit
... I have come to a sort of decision.
At my age and with my long experience with eating - (ha!) - I know that my ability to adhere to a strict eating regimen will fail eventually even if I am successful for months and months. It comes down to a simple fact. I need listen to my body better to feel better - and a structured regimen change with lots of rules and no-nos just never works for long.
Thankfully the current messages coming from my body fall in line most closely with the Mediterranean diet way of eating, but with a few modifications that I know are realistic for me. So, let the transition begin.
What does transition look like for me:
- There will be no "kitchen purging" - an activity I typically did in the past when I attempted to eat differently. Items we would normally eat will stay and get used up. But the ’seed’ change will happen in the grocery store - by purchasing the right options recommended. That means simply, that I will be weaning myself off what I do now.
- Finding new recipes to make that are appealing yet simple are a serious transition goal right now - a cook I am not! For example: Crushed avocado mixed and chopped hard boiled egg with lemon juice, a little hot sauce, and salt and pepper on whole wheat toast filled the bill perfectly for the traditional egg salad (with mayo) I was craving this morning. Tasty, simple and somewhat nutritionally improved!
- I love vegetables and can make of meal out them with no effort. This is the biggest plus of moving in this direction. I even discovered a website (thank you, Michelle, of Boulderneigh Blog) called A to Z Alphabet of Vegetables - A Veggie Adventure at aveggieventure.com. It is a grand site for vegetable identification and ideas for cooking them (like 1300+ ideas!). I was stunned that there were soooooo many vegetables. Next summer visiting farm stands will be more exciting.
- Backing away from most animal proteins will be easy for me. I’ll experiment with plant based proteins. Fish and chicken will be my occasional options. I still will have a tablespoon of evaporated milk in my coffee in the morning. But my body won’t miss beef or pork at all. (Although full fat bacon will beckon me I am sure 😀)
- My favorite bread is Sour Dough - and that showed up on Mediterranean diet lists as a good choice along with high fiber choices in moderation. Healthy breads are ok for me, but making bread the “devil" will never fly for me.
- I already use Olive Oil - with almost everything. I love it especially with bread! Yum.
- I can move away from my high sugar desserts if I substitute another sweet item when my tongue says “Don’t you want to top off that meal with a sweet thing?” - which happens all the time! I just discovered dried figs as a substitution - knocks out that “gimmy a sweet” reaction. Fruit sometimes does the trick but not always. Sometimes a teaspoon of honey tricks my mouth and brain. I need to retrain this auto reaction to top off meals with a sweet (even breakfast, haha.)
- I love red wine and red wine is on "the ok list” in moderation, but most wines upset my GI system. Vodka with diet tonic (quinine) and diet coconut water (potassium) is my cocktail of choice (in moderation as well - being the daughter of an alcoholic who is extremely careful to avoid that illness,) but vodka is not on “the ok list.” I did find one wine that was GI acceptable from Black Box called Red Blend - yes, a box wine! Significant changes in this area probably will not happen.
- And, finally, there will be no calorie or carb or fat or points counting at all. For some reason, that counting and tracking triggers the strong desire in me to eat up to and sometimes just over my permitted levels regardless if I am hungry or not. It focuses me too much on food, and not enough on eating just enough to avoid hunger.
It explains how and why eating the wrong foods causes toxic hunger and the desire to over consume calories; whereas a diet of high micronutrient quality causes true hunger which decreases the sensations leading to food cravings and overeating behaviors.
Toxic hunger!! Now doesn’t that paint a descriptive picture. I know that sugar causes a toxic hunger in me. After the blood sugar ‘high' is over, the blood sugar ‘low' takes over ... and I am at the refrigerator once again looking for a snack. Carb rich foods do the same thing. Once I have read this book I will update it here on the blog.
Anyway, I think I have a plan that just might be sustainable.
And that is the real crux of the issue, isn’t it.