I have been struggling for years to find a way of eating that is both sustainable and that works for me. My husband and I were talking recently and it is very clear I do not do well with diets that have major food exclusions in them ie, low carb/keto, plant based, extremely low fat diets. Any type of plan that cuts out major food groups does not work for me at all. He pointed out I get very depressed and anxious when I do these kinds of plans and I am not happy and they are not sustainable for me. I start out optomistic and excited but it does not take long for me to find myself very unhappy and craving all the things I cannot have.
I was adopted as a small baby, just a few weeks old. My mom told me when she got me I was very undernurished and I sometimes wonder if that has haunted me my entire life. That when food is taken away from me, some visceral thing in me freaks out. I end up white knuckling the entire thing.
I am so tired of living this way and need to find a way to get healthy, eat right but solve this issue that dieting has been causing for most of my adult life.
I decided to do something different. Kind of radical in a way. Intuitive eating. At least that is what I am calling it, and I think there is something called that. but I want to figure out what foods I really love and that are healthy and make sure those are included in my diet on a regular basis. What things I need to really eliminate for the most part . So, I am working out what makes the most sense for me.
I just read what intuitive eating is, and it is exactly what I am feeling. Not looking at any food as good or bad, instead I will listen to my body and eat what feels right for me at that time, that day, that meal. It is such a freeing feeling to come to this decision and then find out it is an actual thing, not just something I thought of for myself. How cool is that ? !!!
I had found a plan through our oldest daughter called pro metabolic eating and I will be doing some of what that diet talks about. It seems to be a plan that is pretty darn close to what I want to eat. BUT , I am still going forward with my intuitive eating although I think that that plan is sort of that type of eating as well. Maybe a bit more structured as they deal with macros per meal which is beyond me. I do not want to do math to eat my darn lunch. I cannot get my mind around balancing the macros per meal, that is very stressful to me.
What are the foods that would make me so happy to have in my diet.
Oats, I found an organic , sprouted rolled oat brand that I love, I love to make them into a breakfast “cookie” with mashed bananas or canned pumpkin, nuts and stevia sweetened dark chocolate chips, very filling and I just enjoy that breakfast so much.
sweet potatoes, I absolutely adore them cooked very soft and eaten mashed and I love a bit of good quality coconut oil and some cinnamon on them or I top them with a bit of butter and pecans I toasted in a skillet with some butter and real maple syrup.
cheese, just a bit makes me very happy. All cheese love it all .
yougurt, plain , unsweetened, preferably Greek, full fat, with blueberries and a bit of raw honey, absolutely love it
black beans , I adore them,
chocolate, no explanation needed I am sure, but dark chocoloate stevia sweetened makes me very happy. I love to use pure cocoa powder in things as well
moderate amounts of animal products. A bit of salmon, chicken or eggs, not every meal, and not necessarily every day.
I can live without bacon and sausage, a staple on my keto plan. An occasional BLT would be lovely and I can do that when I feel like it on a rare occasion.
I do love salads, and love chick peas , meat ,or tuna in my salad.
Occasionally a wonderful Cobb salad is a fabulous treat and we like the one at CottonPatch, maybe once every couple of months. Firehouse subs makes fabulous salads at a great price, so those are a fun treat as well.
avocado, I love them anyway I can get them
tortillas, corn, white, or even alternative flours like almond and casava, really enjoy them
sourdough bread, sandwhiches, or with egg, or just toast with butter.
lentils and other beans, I would love to eat those a few times a month as well. I think in moderation, they will be fine. I cannot tolerate eating beans every single day , they do not sit well with me when I eat them all the time. I learned that on my vegan/plant based journey. But a couple of times a week or as little as a few times a month, I think I would enjoy them.
Vegetables, I love them. My favorite part of the plant based life style was the veggies. I love big plates of steamed broccoli with some salmon or chicken sounds amazing. Add some sweet potato, perfect meal .Not as big a fan of cauliflower, and only like brussels sprouts cooked in bacon fat with bacon or ham, do not want to eat that kind of thing right now. That does not even appeal to me honestly.
Fruit, enjoy it, but not a huge fruit eater, I do love melons, blueberries and strawberries. I do love juicy navel oranges and some lemon in my water with stevia. I like apples as well, but most fruit , although I enjoy most of it, is not a huge priority to me. But does not satisfy me as a desert either. That may change over time. I do like it more in summer, than I do in winter
Are there foods I will exclude, yes. A few definites
NOTHING with soy, no soy oil, only coconut and avacado oils for cooking and a bit of olive oil for salads, this means absolutely no commerciql rance dressings, as they all have vegetable oil which is soy.
no commercial mayo, I will only use Primal Kitchens stuff. They only use avocado oil so they are safe products for me to use. Mayo and salad dressings .
No white flour, just a little whole grain flour, if I bake it will be with either almond or coconut flour or maybe some gluten free flour which is rice based and in moderation, should be just fine. I have stocked up on whole wheat pastry flour late last year when still on plant based, it is in the freezer but I will try to use a bit at a time and use it up. I also have oat flour, corn flour , and masa mix, I will find ways to use these foods as well . Slowly over time, as they are frozen, and in moderation I will do fine with them all.
Do not have any desire for a hamburger or any fast food like that. I want to stick with fish, and chicken, maybe some beef, but not ground beef. I love a bit of stew meat stir fried and served with veggies or salad, or fajitas.
I will try to use only organic cane sugar , and organic cane brown sugar, date sugar, maple sugar, stevia and monk fruit and a few of the accepted artifial sweetners allowed on my keto plan. No cheap bags of regular sugars.
Anyway, I will continue to go through and consider what foods I enjoy, and what make me feel the happiest to eat, and are also healthy. I will not exclude any food, if I crave it one day, and the cravings do not go away, I will have that food. However, I find when I am not cutting myself off of specific food groups, that is less likely to happen . My cravings will tend to be more healthy when I can eat what I want. When I give myself permission to eat anything, I feel less need to eat the things that are bad.
I had to really accept this about myself. It was hard to come to this conclusion. But the other way was not working for me.
It will be a constantly shifting thing and I am sure over time I will settle on what makes me the happiest and healthiest and that is my goal. Learn to eat the best I can and not overeat either.
I need to add excercise every day, and get better overall habits with sleep and everything.
I am a work in progress, but I think we all are .