Tag Archives: food cravings

Stracciatella Myself No

As I said on Friday, I watched the movie Fat to Finish Line on Thursday night. In addition to reminding me that it is really all about getting up after you’ve fallen, the movie reminded me that lifestyle changes don’t have to happen all at once. It’s not an all or nothing thing.

I  knew this…..once. But I’d forgotten.

Last week was my first on a medical leave of absence that will continue for at least the next three weeks. I can’t even tell you the last time I had a full week off; so, I treated last week like a vacation – well, a staycation. A for-real staycation, like I stayed inside my house almost the whole time. I napped. I watched movies. I fussed about being cooped up. I complained about trying to walk with crutches. Then, because I got tired of my own cranky self, I napped some more. I didn’t try to eat right and I exercised only a little.

This week, vacation is over.

I went to the library and got books to teach myself to become an Excel wizard. My friend Sean has come up with an exercise routine for me that keeps me off my foot. For the next three weeks, my job is to learn and get stronger. To help me do both of those things, I must eat better.

That doesn’t mean that I’m going to eat nothing but salads, twigs and bark, though. I can’t do that. If I go completely off like that, I’ll lose what is left of my mind. I’m beginning with baby steps regarding my food changes. The step for this week is to eat no more ice cream – no more frozen desserts of any kind.

Although my system has always rejected cow’s milk, I truly love ice cream. And when I say that no one understands disappointment as well as Ben and Jerry do, I’m only half kidding – maybe not even half. If I ever own a chocolate lab, I’m naming it Häagen-Dazs. One of the first words I learned when visiting Italy was stracciatella (the gelato pictured temptingly above). Unless you offer me mint chocolate chip, I will eat any ice cream flavor you have – including red bean. (Hush. I had it at a Japanese restaurant once and it’s better than it sounds.) I love ice cream.

But, I’ve got to start somewhere; so, that’s it. Until Thanksgiving day, no more ice cream for me. I’m taking control again – one little thing at a time.

…….pay no attention to the whimpering.

 

There’s Junk Food and There’s Frankenfood

Garden-of-Eatin-Sweet-PotFriday, I shared with you that I was in the midst of PMS cravings and just could not figure out what would satisfy them. Well, that was then, honey! I found the food I was searching for – Garden of Eatin’ Sweet Potato Corn Tortilla Chips! Mmmmm. AND they let me stay in my current menu. Nirvana, right? Healthy junk food?

I didn’t say they were healthy. I said that they let me stay in my current menu. Not the same thing.

With my new vegetarian, nearly vegan menu, I get a lot of questions and end up in a great many conversations about it. In one conversation, a friend expressed surprised that an obese woman she’d just met was a life-long vegetarian. How can that be? How can a vegetarian be overweight at all, much less obese? I used to wonder the same thing.

I always had this image of a vegetarian as someone who ate mostly salads and steamed vegetables. Honestly, I didn’t really get the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan since I believed that they both lived on primarily twigs and grass, drank herbal tea, smoked weed and dropped acid. (Well, maybe not all of them.)

Au contraire! (That’s French for, “Oh, lemme tell you how you’re wrong.”)

To be a vegetarian, a person does not eat meat. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t eat eggs or milk products. It doesn’t mean that they don’t eat sugar; it only means that they don’t eat meat. They can still eat cake, ice cream, candy bars, french fries…you get the picture.

Vegans are vegetarians who don’t eat meat or any other animal product like eggs or dairy. However, even vegans can eat a wide variety of things that aren’t necessarily healthy including Oreos, many cookies, most candy, lots of different chips, some bagels and even many frozen desserts. Neither vegetarianism nor veganism is necessarily good healthism. (It’s not a word. I know that, just work with me.)

These folks ain’t subsisting on grass and twigs.

So, back to my sweet potato corn tortilla chips. Like all junk food, they are calorie dense, nutrient sparse. A serving (about nine chips – puhleeze) contains 140 calories, 1 gram of sugar, 2 grams of protein and 2% of the RDA of both iron and vitamin A. 2%? That’s nothing. The reason I chose them rather than some other chip is their ingredient list which contains nothing that I can’t pronounce. Malic acid is the only ingredient I didn’t know anything about. Compare that to other chips with ingredients like monosodium glutamate and disodium inosinate. While neither chemical is necessarily harmful, I’d rather my snacks have more easily pronounced ingredients. I feel better believing that they are a more natural option than some other choices out there.

Or, maybe I’m just kidding myself because it says “organic, gluten-free and non-GMO” on the package. Could be.  In any case, my cravings are satisfied, the PMS Beast is once again at rest, and the neighborhood is safe.

Whew!

Estranged Bedfellows

cheetah and dogYou’ve heard about these guys, right? The cheetah and the dog at the San Diego Zoo that are best buds in spite of their instincts? That dog should have been a snack AGES ago; but, the cheetah loves the dog and the feeling seems to be mutual. Strange bedfellows, no doubt.

Yesterday afternoon, my mind drifted to the subject of strange bedfellows, drifted right on through that and ended up at estranged bedfellows – specifically, PMS cravings and my current menu. Verily I say unto you, never the two shall meet. Not even close.

You and I, we’ve been having these little visits for months now; so, we’re friends and I can tell you that I’m PMSing in a big way. The thing is, when I have food cravings this time of the month, I can normally pinpoint what it is that I want. This month, I can’t.

In addition to feeling cranky, I’m feeling lazy, as well, and I want something convenient. I’ve been running through the list of foods I haven’t eaten in over a month now and I’m coming up empty. I got nothing that sounds like it will do the trick. Last night, I ate one of the cupcakes I made for a coworker and that didn’t do it, either. (I must say, though, that the cupcake with its frosting of Cool Whip, neufchatel cheese and diced strawberries was a treat.)

So now what?

As I sit here writing this, I’m drinking peach herbal tea and enjoying some dried plums. I used to enjoy prunes, but some marketing guy decided that we’re all way too hip and vital to eat prunes. Hip and vital people eat only dried plums. Whatever. I’m enjoying them even knowing that they’re not scratching that PMS food itch either.

So that leaves me sticking with my new menu, although mostly by default. I have to admit that if I identified this craving as cheese puffs, I’d knock that craving right out, then spend the next 30 minutes cleaning the orange dust off my keyboard. As it is, I’ll behave.

At least for now, my behavior and my menu are united, even if my cravings and my menu are estranged.