Wednesday, March 27, 2013

We all emotionally eat...My Big Opinion.

...Okay. So I'm sitting here, thinking of the last sugary thing I ate, and laughing at how rebellious I can be about my food at times. I also realize that all of us can be rebels when we choose it. It is a matter of knowing when the choice is conscious, and when it is unconscious.

I know that I was feeling a loss of sweetness in my life at the moment I felt a craving creep up for sugar. I also knew that I needed more protein, and had eaten less of it over the course of the last 24 hours. Well I read the energy right, but I simply ignored it, and chose to feed my emotion, rather than feed the regimen I'm on to achieve the results I truly want out of my body. After all, I'm getting ready for photos! Gotta be lean...I even bought a bag of carrots most recently to feed my sugar urge.

So what was going on when the sugar urge hit: Physiologically, I had celebrated that past weekend with a little alcoholic imbibement...this led to a surge and drop in blood sugar levels. Emotionally: I had some issues with my partner. Sugar! Missing the sweetness in life! Louise L. Hay has an affirmation for this one. She writes: "This moment is filled with joy. I now choose to experience the sweetness of today. I now choose to make my life light and easy and joyful." (I put two together.) Mentally: "I want sugar, and I will have it because I'm rebellious!" Spiritually: I didn't do enough meditation, and I definitely needed to do some yoga. I also may not have journalled that day. For me, all of these things are very important to offset my childhood urges for sugar, which began at birth. ...
What do mommies give their babies when they are upset? Sugar. What is given as rewards for good behavior? Sugar. What is considered dessert food? Sugar. What is in all processed, packaged, fast foods?
Sugar. What is the first thing that drops when you realize you're famished? Sugars. Don't tell me we don't all emotionally eat. It has to be connected to SOMETHING.

So here's my thought: since eating has been a part of our lives since our humble beginnings, just like our DNA, then there is no way that we haven't connected our emotions to what we consume, as it such a sensitive topic for so many, and because we feel such satisfaction from eating particular foods. Many of us also understand that emotions are the window to our soul's walk, so it is important to listen to the messages our emotions bring us, for they tell us a great deal about ourselves. Ultimately, it is about a reprogramming of this emotional trigger and tendency, to allow our souls the joy of choosing a food because it is good for us and not because it feeds our emotions...though I do have to say, sometimes a little celebration is pretty awesome! Namaste.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Salmon tacos, zucchini and cucumbers

I'm so happy right now. I just made a yummy yummy, and a minor kitchen cleaning victory, and dug it.

The evening began with me coming home late from the last dress rehearsal for Beauty and the Beast, a wonderful play directed by Bob Arnold, at Romer MS, my old home, and I committed to choreographing it last year. Oh it was so much fun. But the real point was that it was late, and my son and I hadn't eaten. My food intake consisted of some tuna and a few crackers, some dark chocolate, an apple and water. It wasn't until dinner, that I had consumed the real sustenance. It feels funny to look at carbs and glycemic load again.

I didn't want to make the same (possibly) boring slab of fish with some veggies, so it occurred to me that I had some organic corn tortillas waiting for me to notice them. I found salsa, avocados, peppers, and diced some onion. I even found cilantro! I so scored with that. As I was cooking, I came across an English cucumber and sliced it up. When I ate several slices, they tasted so sweet and delicious, almost as if it was the first time I had ever had a cucumber. I topped them with salsa and avocado, and wondered why I didn't open up a can of black beans.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Too Alkaline, now too acidic. Back to the Drawing board.

I went to my holistic chiropractor appointment today and I noticed a few new things I had developed.

Firstly, my weight is going down the scale (yay!). I definitely see a difference in both the way I look and feel. Mike said I looked skinny tonight. (Now you know I like hearing that.) I've reduced my "junk" nutrition (at the moment, that would be grains, mostly, except for this weekend). Doc did a Ph test on me and I came out acidic. Now I know for sure, that this is due to several things. Would you like to see all the reasons I know why I went acidic?

1) I eat fish now, and lately, a bit more than I normally would, as I had cut grain carbs and thought to increase proteins grams of real food. Any protein, especially flesh product, will register as acidic.
2) I have been drinking strong coffee the last two weeks. I knew I was feeling a change in my body and I needed to adjust.
3) I hadn't any kombucha.
4) I reintroduced bread and sugar the last few days.
5) I hadn't had much green tea lately.

Okay so this is the complete list. When I look at what my diet once was, it makes much sense. At that time I was too alkaline, or at least I didn't need to worry about my ph levels. Now, since I've discovered this new information, I realize that animal products do quite a lot to raise that acid level in my body, and how since I should be done "experimenting" and hunting for the best fish at the moment, I can focus on really piling in the salad greens and cucumbers, zucchini etc.

I'm feeling good! Okay, so I know how to fix this, and it won't be tough. I am losing weight and creating a deficit, and sometimes my body tries to find those food calories to feast on so my weight doesn't go down. The darn body is always trying to attain homeostasis. That works both for us and against us at times.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Saturday Detox by Day, Splurge by Night.

What originally began as a light, cleansing day, quickly turned into nighttime deliciousness.

I can honestly say I have not reported a night like this in some time, but I thought it interestingly balancing to share, that having a nice cleanout before an indulgent meal has its place. The day started out as any other day. I haven't taken to eating much in the mornings anymore, and so I leisurely slept through some of this. However, after being up for a couple of hours, around 12 or 1p I decided to eat a huge bowl of broccoli rabe. You can believe that this vegetable sauteed in coconut oil, lemon pepper and sea salt, and slightly toasted in some areas, was the treat of the day. At first.
After consuming two heads of broccoli rabe, I made a small piece of tilapia and flounder (about 38g of protein total). I was relieved to see that flounder was low in mercury, but some of the fishing practices for flounder were either contradictory or controversial, so I think I'll go back and do more research before purchasing again, even though it is a delicious and light piece of fish. With the fish, I prepared a glass of lemon water, and put some detoxing herbs in. Actually it tasted quite refreshing. A good, clean job well done a short time later, and I felt light as a cloud.

A few friends started on dinner plans, as my night became free. We decided on the Cheesecake Factory. Well this certainly blew my mind, as I hadn't been out anywhere in a while, and not in that price range, and I couldn't remember whether I had really enjoyed the food (except for the avocado rolls, decadent and exquisite, though wrapped in refined flour). They brought out a basket of that molasses bread (is Outback in cahoots with Cheesecake Factory?), and I quickly ordered to avoid much consumption of it.

The real treat was dinner. I chose a BBQ grilled salmon dish with mashed potatoes, onion rings in a very thin batter and corn succotash. I say pass on okra-type things, as they are slimy! Ugh! I instead went for kale and a drizzle of olive oil. I had my black lava sea salt with me and ate half my potatoes for the iodine while passing the onions around. I dipped my fork into a few cheesecake selections with a small cup of coffee, but not my own, and called it a night.

The grilled salmon and kale was the real win, because I didn't know I could choose any vegetable to go with my fish, which was perfect. They took real care to cook and serve the meal, and I felt really well taken care of. Then my friend had a little fun to support me as he knew I was a little down. Something made me mention birthdays during the random conversation, and suddenly a group of waiters came out to sing happy birthday to me in the middle of March!! Oh what surprise and fun was my merry unbirthday, and so fitting, as we saw Oz afterwards. So a delightful and rather healthy day was had by all, and I didn't even feel too poorly about the splurging.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Your Reasons for Wanting Weight Loss

If you're not doing it for you, who are you doing it for? And if you can't honestly answer that question, it's time to look in just a little bit deeper. Most people say they want to lose body fat and build sexy muscle but they say that it's for them. Once I talk to them for just a little bit longer, I find out that they had a bad situation with a relationship, emotional or physical abuse history, childhood weight issues, or felt that they should look like the skinny standard represented on television and film. This is what we are dealing with today, in groves.

I spoke to a great counselor friend of mine yesterday about my personal fitness goals. We had a wonderful conversation about how the mind and preexisting thoughts, feelings and behaviors are already in place before  reacting to a craving and taking that first bite. It seemed to go in line with what I teach about feeling the vibration of the food. The thing is, the deprogramming must first be in place with each individual involved.

I realized that just recently, I was allowing my weight to quietly and slowly slide upward. After checking my thyroid and other physiological factors, I saw that everything was fine, except for my diet. So what was it to be eating and feeling as if I was eating a healthy diet while the scale increased? After all, the average human gains an average of 1.5 pounds per year by eating 300 carbs daily, and I'm sure we can add or subtract and look at athletic exceptions as well. Once I changed my diet, the scale started immediately sliding back down by 3 pounds in the first week. But why did I want to lose weight? Why do I still want this?

When I think of weight loss, I think of losing body fat in order to see more beautiful cuts, the product of the incredibly intense workouts I put in on a weekly basis. This may be why any avid exerciser would want to lose. Most of all, I enjoy the abundant health I experience from staying very active.But there was a time when I would have said that wanting to see cuts was out of vanity. Doesn't it ultimately show the peak of physical health, mental discipline and spiritual stability? Not to discourage people who don't see things in this way, but we all have to find reasons for wanting to actually see pounds melting away. For me, it's simply a result of weight I no longer needed.

Contemplations on Warrior-style eating

I'm told that the Roman soldiers would go all day without as much as a few nuts or seeds before returning home from the warring fields for his nightly feast, which was filled to the brim with meats and fruits and grains. I'm not thinking that there was much dairy at the time, but in ancient Rome, there was olive oil and bread, for sure.

Anyway all this to say that there is this theory going around about an eating style where the participant eats very little food during the day and has the main brunt of their caloric intake at night before, yes, bedtime. How does this approach actually appease the appetite and satisfy the fitness enthusiast who goes for their nightly workout, without having much food in the system?

Ori Hokmekler said that this diet came to him one day while in the Israeli special forces. He noticed that he felt more energy crashes during the day when he was eating 5 to 6 meals. When he and others began waiting for that moment where they could rest their digestion, he would eat that evening meal and would feel much better than before. This is where he got the idea to develop the Warrior diet.

I feel that some of my day cannot include a heavy meal, but I seem to have to develop a modified plan when approaching my meals. So I'll eat plain Greek yogurt and almonds, apples with peanut butter and a protein shake during the day, I won't eat an actual meal until after I work out, and this plan seems to work well. The only contention I have is carbohydrate loading. It seems to work much better to have a fruit carb as opposed to a grain, and even then, it has to be when I have had a low carb load during the day. Otherwise, veggie carbs are allowed but nothing else in the evening for me at this point. We will call it my most recent experiment.

Dodging junk carbs when eating out.

Stranger Danger!!

Get that white flour or white rice processed thing off my plate NOW before I eat it! Ugh...
Since my discipline isn't perfect, I need extra help at times, especially when eating out, when it comes to the food they bring to the table, like bread for example. It's easy enough if I were to go to dinner by myself. Otherwise, that brown molasses bread came to our table at grandpa's birthday dinner at Outback Steakhouse, and it was time to make some powerful decisions.

I cut up the bread, passed it out to everyone, and made sure I had a very small taste of it, so that I didn't go into a pouting fest regarding the wish of not having tasted the bread.

Then I asked them to bring out my grilled shrimp and veggies without the rice, and wouldn't you know, no one listened. So I ate my salad and veggies, ate my shrimp, took a couple of bites of rice, and asked them to take the plate as soon as I was finished with my shrimp, which by the way was delicious.

It's the little things like this, that keep me from making distrastrous choices and filling up with foods I had no intentions of eating in the first place.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Being sensitive to our food needs

I was listening to one of Joshua Rosenthal's lectures in my health coaching program about how people view food, and how it shapes and colors our perspectives, just as religion and politics do. Food practices have most likely broken up marriages! What a shame that is, when we could possibly practice connecting with one another and finding compassion for one's path and purpose. Then over time, one could become well accustomed to finding small, healthy ways to open up a discussion about food and eventually, a change that supports a greater sense of health and wellness for your family. Health is a big journey that doesn't become perfect in a week.

I was waiting for the moment in the program where a fire would ignite over my health and food choices. As I've made the transition to pescetarian, I think this shows the shift in perspective I am taking on as I explore how food affects the mind and body, and how it also directly reflects and impacts what place we are in at that point in time. Part of my change was due to wanting to reduce unhealthy fats like cheese and get some more variety into my diet, plus an increase in iodine. I was thinking that would help me for fat loss and satiety. I had always noticed how eating vegetarian would make it difficult to consume small portions of food. Eating dairy kept me from being as hungry, and ultimately supplied me with essential B vitamins and fat. But beyond that...the proteins from the dairy were fat laden enough to possibly disrupt digestion. At least with fish, I'm getting both lean and clean protein that is easily digested but keeps me well sated.

But there is a deeper problem. As I settle myself and my diet needs, I feel clearer, almost as if the body is able to rest better. Herein lies something new, is finding a way to be that wonderful health coach and be sensitive to the needs of my clients. It is true that finding oneself inspires the gateway emotion to helping others successfully process their emotional attachments surrounding food. I reflect on how I was emotionally attached to being vegetarian, for example. People take their food very seriously, as the hormonal responses it offers, colors our experience of the meal. But what about the people who are seriously suffering from  food issues? I see my partner, once an avid competitive bodybuilder, as being one of those men who've suffered from a distorted body image his whole life, and has been self destructive in his self-hatred of his body, which to me is absolutely beautiful. However, I've had to become very sensitive to his internal tapes, and only over time, have I been able to slowly affect his thought process on food and how he allows it to positively affect his new path.

For me, this starts the beginning of a new exploration in how I approach clients who already a distorted body image and somewhat of an eating disorder, if not a large one, where time and personal image has grossly affected their food choices. Only the slow process of chipping away at one's huge wall built over years with information, advice and a ton of love, can truly bring together what distortion has torn apart.

From Vegetarian to Pescetarian.

My Best friend Sue called me Nemo.

My son giggled nervously, my boyfriend tripped out, and all my sisters almost fainted. Everyone had their own personal crisis regarding my food choice, and for the first time in my life, food began to once again feel fun and experimental.
I'm not completely sure what possessed me to decide to take the leap (or the swim?) over to the dark side and eat the flesh of a marine creature, but it has definitely made me think about the fact that I am ingesting (a) marine life (b) praying over something that was once living (c) wondering if Great Spirit was kind enough to force me into the ways of the ancestral call for health reasons. Sometime in December, I remember mentioning my thoughts of returning to fish to a holistic chiropractor who I feel began doing the work on me before I truly asked for the assistance. Prior to this moment and several bottles of high quality fish oil pills later, something wasn't changing, for example, my weight, and especially after all the successful lifts, classes, cardio and rockin' da bell. Something had to give.

12 years is a long time to talk one's self out of eating a vegetarian lifestyle, but it's also a long time to ingest genetically modified soy with the full knowledge that soy has been blacklisted. When it comes to fact checking however, and the intensity of missing nutrients that the vegetarian diet simply has a tougher time of obtaining through food, it to me, rang undeniable, that the best way to tackle the problem was to allow a fish safe passage to swim into my life and onto my plate.

It is quite strange to have bitten into the canned salmon as my first fish experience and to immediately feel watery, oceanic images of dancing fish and Atlantis underwater. It's almost as if my world of roots and berries disappeared for one short moment, as if to say, no, I am in the aquatic world now. At school, one of my students randomly posted a screen saver with turtles and fish. I don't think I had even broken the news to them before Waterworld occurred. Dances with Fish? I digress.

I had several ask me if this deficiency could be obtained in a pill when all I could really think of was, I need to do this. I need to do this. Have you ever been called to something without recourse, but you knew it was right, and something edifying came along to determine a positive outcome? Yeah, me too.

I found it interesting and highly intriguing that a health maverick, Alex Jamieson of Super Size Me, just recently stepped down from her vegan palate as well. She's the gal who wrote a book, The Great American Detox Diet. I may be seeing a wave of bio-individual change and/or trendiness, but I also may be seeing some real people with a real desire to consume real food, finally. That, or like Jamie, you may feel inclined to simply honor a craving and have a piece of fish.

On a metaphysical note, eating fish is definitely a slightly different experience in terms of how my senses are now feeling information. I was nervous as an empath about feeling the pain and death of the fish. There is no denying that an element of this takes a role in meal times, but it just sends me into a deeper, more prayerful mode, as the attention one has to pay to one's body when consuming something this potent, becomes all the more important.

What is this really about? Besides the plethora of iodine and zinc, I'm certifying as a health coach. Something sounded impossibly exciting about reinventing myself against the climate of experimentation in the backdrop of finding what works best bioindividually. I feel as if the program wrote me a meal ticket to really explore my options, that it was truly my life, and it was meant to be lived well. And even though this has been a mentally and emotionally uncomfortable,  albeit smooth physiological change, I realize that all things must change, if I want to change. That includes my diet.