Monday, June 25

The Theosophy of Produce

I swear.

I had this idea I wanted to do carb cycling and document the results, much like Big Daddy D and his wife have done.

But I suck at doing anything consistently, apparently. It's been like a month and I think I've actually had a proper number of calories and carbs only a few times. No, I'm not overeating, you know me, I've hardly been eating at all, which is just as much screwing up any kind of decent cycle tracking as anything else -- not to mention that since eating and frequently is what causes weight LOSS in me, I've not lost a pound the last month.

That always makes me want to use my scale to whack some "calories is what it's all about!" theorist upside the head.

Today my weight dropped back to 379, which didn't really cheer me up much, since that's what it was a month ago when I started this! My last entire month of calories ingested equals maybe a week's worth if I were eating properly. I so irk myself. Or as Pink so rightly said in a song,

I'm a hazard to myself
Don't let me get me
I'm my own worst enemy

So today we went grocery shopping, as last Friday was my payday. It was, as usual, an overly long, utterly exhausting super walmart trip and put-away project, replete with my always-pleading-for-something ten year old fashion-zombie drama-queen.

I realized while shopping that I was craving fruit. The blueberries, raspberries, strawberries. Green grapes, black grapes, and I stared at the bing cherries like they were little clusters of religious inspiration. The grapefruit and lemons and limes and mandarin oranges. My eyes rolled up in my head.

Of course these are all carby, though the berries less so, so I passed them by thinking, "I'll live without them."

I reached the area filled with pies, cakes (I love buttercream frosting more than sex, is that wrong?), cookies, and really more importantly to my heart, bread of every imaginable kind. Now, if I have the slightest cravings, if I am hungry, if I am vulnerable in any way, this is the section I avoid. These are the aisles I could find myself standing in like a walking coma patient, gently drooling down the chin.

Fortunately, since I don't eat carbs much, I don't really have craving problems.

Oddly, I didn't today either. I stopped in the middle of an aisle and thought about that. Why would I be craving every kind of fruit if I wasn't even blinking over the foods filled with carbs and sugar that dependably haunt me if I'm in "that mode" when I shop? That WAS odd. Usually I can be utterly sure if I crave anything whatsoever, that the high-sugar/carb foods my taste buds love most will give me insulin shock from three feet away.

I looped back into the produce dept. to get my vegetables. Some romaine lettuce, green onions, regular onions, roma tomatoes, poblano peppers, anaheim chilis, banana peppers, red bell peppers, jalapeno peppers -- you may start to suspect I like peppers -- and cilantro. I stood next to the asparagus thinking, "Mmmmm, Asparagus." (You'll have to imagine Homer Simpson's voice for that.)

I don't actually like asparagus.

Now, when I start craving foods that are (a) any shade of green, and (b) that I don't even like, I know only two possible things have happened:

1) I have reached some carb-starvation point after being out of ketosis, and have not yet transitioned back into it, and am so desperate for carbs I'm about ready to go graze on my overgrown lawn.

I don't think this is the case right now.

2) My body is deficient in God knows how many elements, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, etc. and is trying to get me to eat foods likely to have some of them.

But most those fruits are {insert theme from JAWS} CARBY! {theme from Psycho}

And everybody knows that Carby is my equivalent of Cooties. Don't want those!


After traversing half the store for everything else imaginable, from lip gloss and eye drops to 5 dozen eggs (only on lowcarb is every other week Easter!), I got to thinking about what some of my journal buddies call "Intuitive Eating."

Basically, that you work on listening to what your body is saying, and you eat that.

Generally, my body is on "no-speakies" terms with me. If I ate intuitively I'd probably starve to death. Or rather, just enough to ratchet the metabolism down yet FURTHER and gain yet more weight, sigh!

Seriously. I think if researchers could figure out my body-fat storage we could save the entire third world from starvation.

Shoulder-Angel gripes at me. "So! Now that your body is finally TALKING TO YOU, after nearly two weeks of almost zero appetite, your only response to this is to ignore all its requests and walk away?!"

Pop!-goes my Shoulder-Devil. Damn that man is ALWAYS on time.

"You'd be eating too many carbs if you had much fruit, and what you CAN have is hardly enough to count. Besides, what if you were so inspired by all that sugar that you {gasp of horror} ATE FRUIT ALL DAY?! I mean, who knows where it could lead? One minute you're eating a cherry and the next minute, bam, you're being heli-vac'd from the bread aisle floor of Super Wal-mart to the Tulsa Cardiology Unit."

Shoulder-Angel snorts. He thinks Shoulder-Devil is a ridiculous drama queen, and that even my child is entirely my own fault, merely living up to that age-old curse of all mothers: "I hope you have a child JUST LIKE YOU!" He seldom seems sympathetic to my side of things, frankly.

He makes his case. "Your eating sucks anyway. Do you honestly think it is better to do the same mostly-foodless habits that made you huge in the first place, than it is to "eat fruit all day because your body probably needs whatever healthy chemicals they may contain?" How many days do you think this could last, anyway? You compost more produce than you eat."

Hmmn. He has a point. Since he is telling me a little of what I want to hear, which happens approximately once every seven years, I'm surprised at how I seem to be on the side of all that's good for once.

SD gets that LOOK that I hear some Weight Watchers leaders get when someone weighs out heavier than last week. (That look, for the record, was the sole province of catholic school teaching nuns until 1967, when they offered franchising.) "You weigh five pounds lesssss than yessssterday," he hissed, with smug satisfaction at having discovered the deep inner core of evil in me: just as things are going well, how could I have such unholy wants, like to EAT A CHERRY?!

"You should be NOT EATING now, so as to keep up that momentum!" he dictated.

I considered it. He's right. I really should. I'm not usually hungry anyway, so why not keep those carbs REALLY low.

Yeah, he's right. I'll get protein! You know, I've been thinking of getting one of those pre-seasoned pork roasts, my kid loves those. Sure, a few carbs, but it's easy to cook in the crockpot after all. I cross the aisle and grab one off the shelf.

I turn it over and read its ingredients, which look like an only slightly abbreviated listing of the current Library of Congress catalog. I see this little fine print that says, "With up to 30% of flavoring solution."

Thirty percent! And I thought the "10%" solution in most modern packaged meats was bad enough! No wonder it felt so... er... mushy, like I was squeezing a silicone breast implant rather than a solid piece of meat.

(Not that I would have ANY idea what those feel like. I am not that kind of girl. Which seems like a real shame sometimes.)

"Ah," said SD, "But hey babe, it's protein! Carbs baaaaad. Protein gooood, right?"

SA rolls his eyes. "Don't you SEE how STUPID this is?!" he says in exasperation.


I went back to produce, bought one of nearly every kind of fruit they had, and left.

This week, I'm going to be eating fruit and greek salad and some protein -- I have tons of grass-fed organic beef in my garage chest freezer.

And if a week of eating way too many carbs because I am ingesting fruits kills me, well, it will be all my shoulder Angel's fault for the advice. I trust that if this happens, he will be forced by some kind of Culinary Karma to be my personal driver for the first several years of my time in eternity. Surely he's right. He wouldn't risk that. Would he??

Edited to Update: So I ate 'a little' carby fruit a few times that week. And the world did not end. And it didn't throw me from ketosis though it did seem to have a delayed effect in possible carb-cravings.


Anonymous said...

I know how you feel... But, let me sit on your sholder and whisper in your ear, "don't you think that just a little serving of fruit might have made the craving go away?"

PJ said...

It might have, but by the time I was making the decision, I no longer believed I was just having some kind of wish to eat something sweet; I believed that my body was lacking something it might only get through fresh fruits. So I figured a few days eating lots of fruit, and some veggies, and good protein, probably won't kill me.

Recently I developed a cluster of about 20 grey hairs right at the forehead hairline. Grrr. I've read on this and many theorize that this is not about age, but about mineral deficiences; some macrobiotic people claim to have been able to 'reverse' greying. Mindful of the fact that I don't normally eat anywhere near enough veggies and fruits, and that normally I am not even a big fruit fan, so even when high-carb I don't really eat the stuff, I figured I should just try it. My body doesn't normally beg for fruit, nor stuff I don't like, so I felt like I was somewhat obligated to listen.

Course, it could be denial rationalization, but I don't think so; it really seems like just a decision. I guess I won't know how good it was until about a week from now. If it doesn't cause major weight gain/cravings that can't be dealt with, then it probably was ok.

PLC said...

PJ, This happens to me now and then. Just the act of buying the dreaded (but oh, so desired) fruit generally makes me feel so guilty that I wash it, peel it, or whatever and stick it immediately in the freezer! I can't eat it frozen, now can I? But I have it. And if I remembered to package it in sufficiently small containers I can (if I absolutely have to) thaw out ONE carb-appropriate serving and eat it. Bing Cherries are my worst culprits. But luckily, I pull one frozen cherry out of the bag, and they are wonderful like that, by the way, and very soon afterwards the rest of the bag ends up lost in the recesses of the freezer under the meat and frozen brocoli; once again out of sight, and out of mind.