Friday, November 26, 2010

Paying the Piper

I haven't posted on my Weight Log in almost 7 weeks, partly because I haven't dared get on the scales to weigh myself, and partly because I've been veering off my food protocol with empty calories and know I have gained weight. So I screwed my courage to the sticking post and weighed myself this morning: up 7 pounds. I don't really mind the weight gain too much, although I'd prefer NOT to have it at all. What's really annoying, though, is how I feel.

My energy level has been falling noticeably for several weeks, and for the last week or two I have been experiencing the painful acid reflux and indigestion I had 8-9 months ago before I changed what I eat. I haven't checked my blood pressure, but I feel as if it's inching up as well. I did see my endocrinologist and my liver doctors at the beginning of November and received good reports from both, pending results of blood work. (BP Nov. 2 was 120/60.)

However, I hadn't strayed much from my food protocol at that time, either. My birthday was during the trip to see my docs, and I made the mistake of celebrating by buying a slice of cake from the bakery section at Whole Foods (not Real Food!). That led to a box of soft peppermint sticks for quick energy on the road (more empty calories)... and it has been all downhill from there! Off and on during the first part of November, I ate more added-sugar things like candy, which only increased a desire for sweet rolls, then cakes and bread. (And not even home-made with good ingredients, either!)

Chicken or the egg? My real downfall, I think, has been the re-introduction of grains into my diet but that's a toss-up with sugar. I merely re-joined all the people who fail to put a control over cravings for mouth watering foods! I accuse the grains for the digestive problems, but I have to admit the sugars started me down that path. Once added sugars were back in my diet, I was without any resistance at all. The natural sugars in fruits didn't seem to trigger that craving, thankfully.

I also noticed that when I added grain products back to my diet, my intake of good fats dropped. All I wanted to eat was bread, rolls, cake, cookies... seldom a meal of meat or eggs and vegetables without desserts. 

The body only makes energy from 2 sources: fats and sugars. Of course, extra sugars (including those from vegetable carbs) are stored as fat tissue and the body likes to hang onto them, preferring a fresh (and frequent) intake.

Whether it's gluten intolerance or not, I really don't know or care. I have proven to myself that my body loves grain products (which contain the protein called gluten), but they make me feel lousy and gain weight. So that means no more grain products... and to keep that craving at bay, no more added sugars either.

Unfortunately for my diet, I concocted a recipe for the best dressing for Thanksgiving that I've made in a long time, and most of it is now in the freezer in small portions. It contains bread of course, but also 2 kinds of sausage, plus apples and vegetables. I cannot promise I won't eat that sausage dressing over time, nor promise I will not make the fresh pumpkin pie with a pastry crust made with my own rendered lard, maybe for Christmas. I do know my food protocol has to change, and I doubt it will be any easier than it was in March.

I cannot speak to eating legumes at this point, though, as it is still an unknown. I have only had beans once in 8-9 months, and that was a pint of home-canned vegetable bean soup about 3 weeks ago. All it did was give me gas, but not the desire to have more. However, I won't even think about trying to add any legumes back to my food list until I have the sugar/grain thing under control again.

This time of the year is tough for finding vegetables that are low on the glycemic index. What is available is generally grown in another country and shipped thousands of miles... or else more local starchy carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. Even salad greens are shipped in from elsewhere. This strengthens my resolve to build a cold frame next year to extend my own growing season.

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