New week, new lessons learned.
The 2nd week of this experiment has gone far better than Week 1. Probably because I don’t have to withdraw from sugar again. And probably because it’s not as new and scary as it was the first week.
In any case, keeping it simple has paid off in dividends and I’d like to report some GOOD things after last week’s complaints.
- Mental clarity
I’m finding that my concentration is better. It’s hard to describe, but there’s a noticeable difference in my ability to think clearly, ponder, and generally stay alert.
- All the energy
This is a complete 180 from Week 1. Last week, I was dragging ass. This week, I’m kicking it. I haven’t started serious exercise yet, so that energy expenditure remains to be determined, but in general life tasks, I can just go, go, go!
Which leads me to this week’s (and last week’s) problem. I’m struggling with calorie intake. I find that I’m rarely hungry — or rather, that the feeling of hunger has changed. Because there’s so little sugar in my diet, I’m not experiencing the post-meal “crashes” that would accompany my day.
Sidebar: Let’s talk about sugar for a moment. It’s in everything. And I’m not talking about added sugar (which is a whole separate topic). It’s obvious that in sweeter foods (bananas, pineapple, apples, etc.) natural sugars exist. Did you know that sugars exist in carrots, avocados, cinnamon and even spinach? I certainly didn’t.
To combat a calorie deficit, I’ve relied on technology. I’m tracking my calories & macros with MyFitnessPal. I’ve also set a friendly reminder that pops up every 2 hours to remind me to eat, whether or not I want to. That’s been mostly helpful, but I’m realizing quickly that I need to have keto-friendly snacks on hand. It’s not enough to just grab a handful of nuts (because carbs). And I can only eat so many eggs in a single day. (And I fucking love eggs.)
I’m having to change my entire relationship with food. It has be to be less about something I get to enjoy, and more about fuel for my body.
When I (mostly) cut processed sugar out of my diet a year ago, I recognized I was using sweets as a “reward” — something that I’ve worked hard to change. Instead of food rewards, I started using pedicures, massages, and new books. Which worked. Mostly.
Really, though, why do I feel the need to reward my perceived behavior? Why do I need to figuratively pat myself on the back? I think I know the answer. This is hard work. LIFE is hard work. The reward is a reminder that what I’m doing matters. The real reward though, is a healthy body and mind. Why can’t that be enough? Another thing to bring up with my therapist, it would seem.
As you can tell, there’s been a lot of “Why the hell am I doing this?!” My brain is pissed off that I’m changing the neural pathways it is used to. That’s really the hardest work: rewiring my automatic settings and being conscious about the choices I’m making. IT. IS. FUCKING. EXHAUSTING. Because this seeps into everything, not just my food choices. It’s about how I react to situations, it’s about how I work, it’s about how I exercise, it’s about every. damn. thing.
Life is hard work.
Cream Cheese Waffles (my own recipe)
Makes 6 waffles
10 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c almond flour
2 TB cinnamon
Blend all ingredients and pour into waffle maker. Do NOT close the waffle maker lid. Let the egg mixture cook for about 30 seconds, and then slowly lower the lid, keeping it from closing all the way until the steam from the mixture subsides. (If you close the lid right away, you will get overflow. The idea is to let the heat of the waffle maker steam the eggs into a more solid form before you let the lid rest downwards). Cook through 2 waffle maker cycles and you’ll get a deliciously crisp outcome. Can be refrigerated or frozen and reheated in a toaster oven.
Macros per serving: 6.1g cards; 26g fat; 10.6g protein