Getting used to taste, and lack of.
Apparently it takes 15 tries to get used to a taste of a particular food, for children. In my opinion, it probably takes a lot more for adults. The beauty of being a kid is that you are either praised for trying new things, or scolded into trying new things. For adults its whatever you want to do or don’t want to do because of course it is your right. But I find that especially adults don’t want to try knew food “because they just know they wont like it.” How many times have you heard this excuse from a kid?
I know that my willingness to try new things is above average, I am willing to try anything and everything regardless of how it looks or smells, or what it is called. A lot of people however, admit to being ‘picky’, I find this especially with vegans.
However, what I find as particularly interesting is that some people who are in for weight loss are also surprisingly picky about the food that they are willing to eat, or not so willing to give up.
Dr. Laurie states that when she suggests people try the Keto diet, she is immediately met with confusion. Everyone has their issues, from colon’s that have been removed to ongoing issues with colitis. The truth is that to be on the Keto diet, you do not have to eat more fat, you just have to work on cutting out the carbs.
When going on the Keto diet, or when adopting any new lifestyle change really, you have to be willing to try new things. Those new things might be scary, or weird, or boring, but what is the worst that can happen? You don’t like it? The truth is that any new change is scary and you have to do the new behaviour over and over again in order to start to make it acceptable. It is true with new foods and it is true with new behaviours too.
Change requires sacrifice. More often than not that sacrifice not only includes giving up the foods that make sense to you from your childhood, but also requires you to sacrifice your comfort that those foods gave you from your childhood.
Until you have reached your new goal weight, you have to accept that you will feel discomfort, whether it be hunger, or drinking more water than your used to, or yes, even putting in a little effort in finding what you LIKE in your new diet.
So, in other words, give your new food, combination of foods, new recipes and new behaviours fifteen tries before you decide. Then, and only then can you truly decide what makes sense.
A new trend that is circling around is the wonder of meal prep. The idea is, that you can save money, time, the environment, and your waist line if you prep your meals for the week on one day.
Speaking for myself, I have tried the meal prep ideology in many different forms, cooking breakfast lunch and dinner and putting it in a container to be reheated later, dividing up the food into portions so that I can just quickly cook everything and I know how much I am putting in my body so I don’t over eat when I’m hungry, and finally, just planning out recipes for the week.
I settled on one solid idea that works for me. The idea that I settled on was to just vaguely plan out each of my recipes because, I find preparing them before hand takes the fun and excitement out of the moment!
Coming home after a long day, and being met with loads of ingredients sparks my imagination and takes my mind off of work! But, on the other hand, when I come home after a long day and everything is already ready for me to just pop in the microwave, I find my mind does’t get the break it needs. I have found that I like to cook, to create and make something new, fun and exciting each meal. The key is to have a well stock fridge, cupboards and pantry. There is nothing more depressing then opening the door to find that there is nothing there to eat. Having a weekly schedule of grocery shopping goes along with the quest for good foods to prepare for meal prep! It is way too easy to snack and snack and snack, when there is no good food to be had.
Also, on a note that has already been parodied many times by comedians, including Baroness Von Sketch, I find that the first day of eating the pre-cooked meals is just fine, and then the second day it’s okay, and then after that the food has gone bland, the flavour is dull, and I just end up throwing all of it out anyway. It is great to have a preprepared snack when you come home from work as well, such as cheese or meat. It helps to have something to eat and no carbs to add. As well to have a snack while you are waiting on dinner to be ready.
Sometimes, believe it or not, people don’t always think like me. Some people find cooking overwhelming and do not find the same joy in it as I do, and for those people, here is a great site for recipes that are catered to meal prep;
In the recipes section of this blog.
And of course Pinterest!
How can you go wrong on Pinterest?
Skinny Taste provides a wide variety of recipes for every diet including the Ketogenic diet. The recipes look unique, fun, and easy.
Meats, Cheese, and Fruits
Serving a chukuteri board consists of fruit, cheese, and meats. It is a classic the world over. The combination is a fresh source of protein and vitamins. These three elements exemplify a fantastic appetizer or dessert, snack, and can sometimes even be a whole meal. These three elements when brought together provides a balance of flavour, texture, and yumminess.
One of the things I love is finding specialty cheeses! I went to the Dairy Capital Cheese shop and picked up Chocolate cheese, and that was luck fudge cake chocolate cheese cake, delicious! This weekend I had the opportunity to go to the Oxford County Cheese Festival, I was looking forward to having an array of fine cheeses that I have never had before, however unfortunately I was presented with the same old same old, Gruyere’s, cheddars, gouda cheese. The most adventurous cheese that they had at the festival was goats cheese, which is still very much average in my book.
So today, I decided to go to Spice Tree Company in Port Stanley, to pick up some yummy artisan cheeses. For the first time ever I had black cheese! It is called Black Lemon, and it says on it it is 100% tasty, and it sure was, it tasted just like those Tostitos lime tortilla chips. Other yummies I picked up was jalapeño, merlot, beer infused, wine infused, and I cannot wait to give them a try.
Something my family came across a long time ago when my family went to Cypress was something called Haloumi cheese. It is a cheese that you actually grill and eat hot. It is delicious, available at Walmart and Zehrs. Hers has a really great selection of cheeses!
And for the meat accompaniment, I love summer sausage, the one that I really like is from St. Jacobs and made by Noah Martin. A long time ago my parents used to live in Elmira and developed a fondness for all things mennonite. Another meat I like is called prosciutto, smoked salmon, pepperettes, salami, and pepperoni slices, which is a very thinly sliced meat, available at most stores.
I love cheese because it is tasty, fast, and healthy. No matter how much cheese, I eat I don’t gain weight (unless I allow myself too many grapes). Cheese has had a bad rap because it is high in fat, but now that it has been disproved that fat is the cause for weight gain, let them eat cheese! Those that have an issue with salt intake, it is important to make sure that you are eating within your daily allowance.
Not only is cheese great for the Keto diet, but is also very good for very low to no carbs. How could you possibly get bored with it? There are so many varieties of cheese, that you could probably have a different cheese everyday of the year (no I will not document this).
At first, for me, I will admit, I found it incredibly difficult to accept cheese without its partner, the cracker. But after some self persuasion and making it a ‘normal’ daily routine, I find that eating cheese by itself is my favourite way to snack.
The DSM is the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. In order to diagnose addiction it is based on questions and observations. There is no official diagnosis for food addiction. Many of the DSM criteria overlap with eating disorders such as bulimia of binge eating. It is possible to be a food addict and also have an eating disorder. Those that are diagnosed as having a binge eating disorder can actually be food addicts.
The single most important feature to suspect addiction is that of the experience of cravings and obsessions. For the food addict, cravings are typically focussed on foods that are high in sugar and fat. Cravings are about the constant thinking about favourite foods and can be just as insidious and powerful as the craving of an alcoholic or cocaine addict. Large amounts of food can overwhelm the bodies hormonal regulation and signals of satiation, even when the foods are healthy. The more you eat the more you feel good, the more you want.
The experience of putting something in the mouth, the savouring, the chewing, the crunching, and then the swallowing, is all packaged up together in a feeling of euphoria.
Diana Ross used to taste test what her chef would make, and then she would spit it out in the garbage. Apparently in her book “Secrets of a Sparrow” she revealed she was anorexic. I actually tried chewing the food, just like she did and then spitting it out in the garbage without swallowing it. She identified that she would taste test the ‘cream puffs’ that the chef had made for her children. I tried it with a number of chocolate bars and doughnuts and tried to chew without swallowing and then spitting it out, but I found it impossible and really unsatisfying.
Withdrawal symptoms are another major criterium of addiction, recovering from a hangover can last for days. Hangovers for food addiction can be identified as; moodiness, insomnia, nausea, achy-ness, nervousness, and mental fog. Food obsession means that a person spends a good portion of their day thinking obsessively about food, plotting their entire day around meals and snacks and using food as a reward just to get through the day.
Alcohol addiction can be that of alcohol grazing and this can be seen in people such as the elderly who add alcohol to their tea, for example, all day long. Food addicts may be grazers to, just constantly eating small quantities. A few peanuts here, a few jellybeans there, helping them just to get through the day. Compared to food addicts that are binge eaters, consuming large quantities of food just like binge drinkers, holding it all together during the week and then allowing themselves to have a ‘cheat day’. The cheat day can compose of the entire weeks calorie intake consumed all in one day. The binge is about soothing anxiety or numbing emotional pain.
Binge eaters often have to isolate themselves after a binge because they suffer from the bodily response of gas and bloating. Food addicts just like any other addict just intuitively know that they are engaging in self destructive behaviour. The food addict actually knows that they are obese, most probably being warned by their doctor, being scolded or questioned by family and friends, but what takes over is denial and defensiveness as well as rationalizing.
This is what is called ‘stinking thinking’ and is indicative of delusion. Every diet starts off with good intentions yet the truth is, because it is an addiction those that are addicted, simply cannot stop, and so the good intentions last for a while, but not for long. That is why there is such a huge return rate for all of those well known diet programs, just the same as the huge return rate of any addiction recovery facility.
Ann Hathaway is known for her roles in movies such as; ‘Princess Diaries’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, and most recently, ‘Ocean’s 8’.
Like many great actors, she is willing to adjust her weight for a part, and most famously she did this for her character in Les Miserables. In just two weeks she lost an unhealthy amount of weight to solidify her appearance as a penniless character who was distressed to the point of starvation.
This process of weight loss was done through a vegan diet (although I suspect it was less to do with being vegan and more to do with not eating anything). Hathaway stayed with this diet to help with her maintain a low weight for her other role as Catwoman in ‘Batman, The Dark Knight Rises’.
Hathaway admits that at this point, in her vegan weightless program that she had the consistent feeling of weakness. What is interesting is that she admits that she didn’t know why. This went on until she admitted that she had dinner with Matt Damon, who convinced her to order the salmon for her meal. She says that as soon as she did that and ate that salmon she immediately felt better. She admitted that she immediately felt that she had more energy than she had in a long time. Consequently, this event turned her from being a vegan into being an omnivore again.
Losing weight is one thing to look like a specific demographic that are under-privileged. Another challenge in Hathaway’s career was to take on roles in which she had to gain weight for a role. In this situation she had to look at being ‘healthy’ looking.
At this point she suggested that she was feeling pretty distanced from herself and was low in confidence. However, she suggests that there was a significant point that changed everything. Immediately, when she walked onset at Ocean’s 8, with the all female cast, every woman on the project gave her a compliment on her body, re-assuring her that she was all right.
I personally admire actors who can transform their bodies at will. Because I can only imagine what the constant stress of what they weigh does, how difficult must it be to continue to gain and then lose and then have to gain again must do to the body and the mind as well as self-esteem.
For me I think that this way of being must mean that there needs to be a huge amount of self-control. Control over the way in which she needs to view food, understand food, and then be able to manipulate the weight based upon that knowledge. This is a huge amount of emotional control, control in which emotion does not take centre stage, emotion has to stay back stage.
Which is worse? Remembering a painful past or ignoring an excruciating present? Which ever one you choose, both have something in common, which is … clutter. Being able to move on from messiness is about being willing to untangle and uproot whatever is holding us back.
The one thing that I have noticed, since I started this process of weight loss and writing this blog, is that I have noticed that I have started to be surrounded by clutter, piles and piles of magazines, books, clothes, and stuff, surrounds me. It is difficult to believe, as I look around my work space, that this is the work space of someone trying to declutter her diet.
Establishing order is a life changing principle. I have realized that the chaos that engulfs me is an extension of my body. A sense of being at home, is important to everyone’s well being and being at home needs to feel safe and give me a sense of relief.
A major sense of being able to restore my wellbeing is from my home environment. And if your home doesn’t give you a sense of happiness or resilience, energy or humour, or courage, then the dire consequences will be that all of those things will decrease, including self-respect. Self- respect is reflected in not only preparing and eating good meals, but also in a sense of order, in which the lack of such order provides a sense of helpfulness. We live our lives, not only through our body but through our home as an extension of our body.
How do we get into this messiness? What’s really preventing us from enjoying serenity in our surroundings. Life’s miseries eventually pile up and extract a price. Neglect starts to become self-excuse. Self-excuse is when we end up squandering our time, our creative energy, our emotions, with good intentions, we squander our self respect, our hopes, our dreams, and our future.
Nasty habits leak into all areas of our lives. We don't confront the people that need to be confronted, we let go unanswered questions that need to be answered, and we let our relationship with ourself and/or others to go untended. We might think we are avoiding confrontation as long as we continue to do the same old thing undetected or unchallenged, until we finally get to the point that we just can’t bare those outer pressures any more, and the only remedy is to declare war on ourselves.
We need to start to organize and control our lives, and dig ourselves out! And unless we do that, and start to take control, everything accumulates, enabling us to continue to stay stagnant in an unhealthy situation, that should have been dealt with years ago. In fact, the truth is we have been so disconnected for so long that we begin to think of our discomfort as normal, refusing to acknowledge that this painful condition exists and has become our ‘norm’.
It is important to confront that messy person within. And start to have meaningful conversations with her. This is a co-dependent relationship, and if you think that you can change behaviour without intervention; that’s wishful thinking.
It is time for a spring cleaning and becoming clutter dependant no more.
Clutter symbolizes what is out-worn and unfulfilled in our lives and that is why it is so hard to clear it out because it is an acknowledgment of a hard truth. We need to come to terms, take stalk and pay attention to reality, truth and space. The space we need to pay attention to is not only the space that we live in, but the space that we take up.
What about culture?
Depending on what culture you come from, there are expectations in regards to food consumption, especially when families get together and feast, just like this past Easter weekend. My family is Christian and we usually get together on Easter Sunday to feast. First, we do the opening of the easter gifts, true to form this contains 2 things usually; the first is a mound of chocolate, eggs, bunnies, and the like. The second is something new to wear, we have our own Easter parade, if you will.
Then we sit down for Easter dinner, the main ingredient in which is the type of meat we are going to eat. Generally, we choose between turkey, spiral ham, cornish hens, duck, and lamb.
In 1960, T.S. Eliot wrote a book entitled ‘Christianity and Culture’. He wrote about the decline of culture in Britain as the indifference in the art of preparing food. He described a culture as what makes life worth living and it’s influence makes civilization worth while. Cooking and eating therefore is not just a simple means of existing but based on our cultural influences. Feasting is one of the things that makes existing worth while.
So what is culture? Culture is an integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief and behaviour which is transmitted to succeeding generations. A culture is a group of people held together by common memories being shared.
So, feasting is closely related to those memories, we eat in particular ways in order to remember who we are. We pass those memories of our past history onto our children. In this way the memorable meal helps the next generation to understand their own heritage. Consider your own childhood, think of the very best times that you shared with your family. When I think of those very best times, the dining room table is what comes to mind, the smell of the meat cooking, the anticipation of the drama between family members around the table, setting the table and trying to find space enough for all of the bowls of vegetables, sauces, and condiments.
The brain remembers these odours and smells and memories that come to mind from when we were a child. I think T.S. Eliot was reflecting on how people had started to starve, not from lack of food, but from the lack of meaning.
It is important to consider how this food knowledge is being passed down in your household, there is something wonderful and magical about food preparation that reflects your culture and these are the things that need to be held onto. What makes them special is that they are kept for special occasions. However, how we eat every single day is most impactful. What you do everyday needs to give you meaning, and meaning is found by how and what you are eating.
For the vegetarian
It is long been thought that the future of food consumption is about vegetarian-ism. It is been thought that because of depleted energy sources, exhausted lands, scarce water and enormous increases in population, are all going to combine together to require that our eating habits in the future need to change to a more vegetarian diet.
This thought amount to a total structural change of our diet and is thought to mean that we will have to reduce our dependancy on red meat. I have noticed new commercials on TV where beef farmers are saying that there has been a change in how they raise their beef cattle, requiring less resources. The thought is that crop lands are stretched to the limit and that there is no way to continue beef production to meet the expected increase in our population. There is no way to provide more land for meat production. So, the idea of vegetarian is to eat a much leaner diet based on fewer meats and dairy products, more grains potatoes, and beans.
The reduction in meat consumption is also about the reduction of seafood consumption because it too, is becoming scarce. Oil reserves running out, means that raising cattle is also going to run out.
Vegetarian-ism contains more grains and fewer fats and the idea is that it is much healthier for you. Creative cooking for vegans and vegetarians is based on the ingredients that were available in the paleo world. Veganism is a strict vegetarian diet, eating only plants. Vegetarians on the other hand eat plants and dairy products. There are pescatarians that also include eggs, chicken, fish, but do mammals.
I think that what has been happening for those of us that are meat eaters is that we are just naturally cutting down on red meat intake out of sheer financial necessity, replacing beef with pork and chicken.
Beginning in the 1970’s and beyond to the 1990’s there has been a big argument raging between vegetarians and meat eaters. Vegetarians believe that they are more environmentally superior and therefore more gracious than meat eaters.
The truth is, if you are vegan, or vegetarian, you can still use most of the recipes provided in this blog, simply by substituting vegetables and vegetable stalk in place of the lamb, beef, chicken, or pork.
My Experience: All Carbolicious
All the vegans or vegetarians I know, have transitioned to this new lifestyle in their early 20’s. Each and everyone of them start the same, proudly sticking with vegetables, more vegetables, some fruit, and even more vegetables. Then slowly they start to realize that they are hungry and bored of vegetables, so they move onto the carbs.
This is an easy transition because all the carbs you can find in stores, do not contain animal products such as; pasta, bread, bagels, most sweets, all of it up for grabs. So in a short amount of time, on their new environmentally healthy lifestyle they gain 20 pounds. It’s disturbing and not endearing. I can’t count how many times I have met someone who is vegan and is overweight because ‘they are leading a healthier lifestyle.” This only works if your REALLY tall.
How to Put Together Your Wellness Program
1) Set your goals: Consider whether you can actually hit the targets you set for yourself.
2) Value self love: Love is not just a feeling, it is something you do and can enrich your life so make a special point to express your appreciation to yourself as well as those that are important to you.
3) Prioritize sleep: When you don't get enough sleep your physical and mental health can be affected, along with your mood.
4) Breathing: Quieting your mind and focusing your breath can help calm and nurture your ability to be present in the moment.
5) Refresh: Getting outside may help you feel energized with a routine of outdoor activities.
6) Boost your body: Aerobic exercise is all about getting more oxygen pumping through your body, 30 minutes of an activity that boosts cardio is recommended per day.
7) Fight fatigue: Water fuels your body and without enough, makes you feel drained and tired.
8) Laugh away your stress: Laughter increases the flow of oxygen, stimulates circulation, lowers stress and helps your muscles relax.
9) Eat well: Good food nourishes mind, body and soul.
10) Practice peace of mind: Quiet your mind from rumination by making a plan of action and writing it down, creates an internal calm that leads to reduced stress and improved mood.
11) Maintain proper posture: Holding your body in a position that best protects your muscles and ligaments from strain can help prevent fatigue, aches and pains.
12) Reflect: Think about all of your blessings, and how much wisdom you have gained from learning experiences that have caused you pain. Feeling grateful will help you stay grounded and happy.
When it comes to your preparing your wellness plan....
1) Plan ahead: Have you booked your annual check up with your GP for this year?
2) Make plans with friends: Friends are good for your health, instead of turning down social events outside your comfort zone, take a chance and go! Simply say: "Okay".
3) Try out a new meal once each week: Include all four food groups and add spices instead of salt.
4) Bring balance to your mind with meditation: Take a moment to just breathe. Quieting your mind and focusing on your breath can help calm you.
5) Spend time outside and let the natural light lift your mood.
6) Find new ways to keep fit: Keep your exercise routine interesting by varying what you do from one day to the next.
7) Tell yourself it is time to sleep: When thoughts race when your head hits the pillow, you are practicing staying awake. Instead write down your thoughts to deal with them tomorrow, and tell yourself it is now time to sleep...sleep...sleep...sleep.
8) Take time to slow down: pay attention to stress levels and give yourself a break, even if it is just for a few moments of stretching away the stress.
9) Work with what you've got: When there are frustrations or things not working well, it isn't about what it should be, it is about what it is. Now deal with it accordingly.
10) Cherish the important moments: Take a moment and cherish the blessings that you have, instead of concentrating on what you don't have or haven't accomplished yet. These are your blessings that make for a rich life, don't let them pass you by!
What are the areas we need to cover in our Wellness Plan?
(Positive thinking, valuing and accepting oneself)
(Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being)
(Satisfaction with current and future via active decision making)
(Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills)
(Personal and enrichment from one's work)
Recognizing beneficial lifestyle choices that make us feel and become healthier)
(Developing a sense of connection, belonging and a well-developed support system)
Meaning & Purpose
(Exploring and understanding one's core ideals, values, principles and purposes in life)
Good to start to think about all of the different components you need in order to put together your own wellness plan. Food intake and your resulting weight management routine is just one component of wellness.
Cooking By Ear.
Cooking is a creative process, and self-expression is one of our most basic needs. Our life goal is to discover what we are good at, what is our passion, what gifts we bring, what work we love, what our mission is. We are born with an imagination and as we get older we have a tendency to stifle our imagination. So, if we don’t use it, we lose it! As we grow older we forget how good it feels to be original, we stop experimenting, and that’s where recipes come in. The recipe provides a direction to get the job done.
Part of the process of figuring out food, as I uncover my own love of cooking, is also about developing my imagination to cook with ingredients that are good for me. I have been figuring out how to ‘cook by ear’.
I have been working on allowing my creative juices to lead me into new unexplored territory. Cooking by ear, is a hobby anyone can master and is meant to bring enjoyment to your day. Food is a language and we learn how to ‘speak’ food by cooking it is through, observation, participation and experimentation. By coming up with creative cooking solutions I have learned that I can expand this knowledge to solve other problems in life creatively too. Every time I find a recipe I can change any number of the ingredients and it becomes my own.
The plan I follow through with is to have fun. My step by step plan is working with healthy food following the low carb way, paying attention to those ingredients and then doing whatever it is that I want to creatively cook.
At first, it was hard to wrap my mind around what to do and how to do it, but once I began, everything has become easier, perseverance is all you need to succeed. I have had a lot of ideas and not all of them I have followed through with, and not all of them have worked out perfectly. It is good to remember that there are no mistakes, there are just learning opportunities. If one direction doesn’t work well, simply just take a new direction the next time.
There are no real rules because rules discourage creativity, so in order to cook creatively I take low carb ingredients and follow my cooking sense, experimenting and coming up with something new and different. The key when cooking is not to get too complicated, there is no need to make food fancy or stylish. Wolfgang Puck, who is a renowned restauranteur and also a special taste testing guest on chef Ramsey’s cooking shows, is known for using flavourful secret ingredients and cooking simply. Chefs travel the world over finding ideas and then turning whatever dishes they love into something of their own.
It is good to surround yourself with supportive people, setting up a comfortable environment, listen to your inner voice, and work with your ingredients without any preconceived notion of how the food should be used. Creativity is like muscle and the muscle needs to be exercised. Cooking often provides regular work outs.
Making my new cooking lifestyle show is definitely flexing a new muscle for me, but the more I do it, the stronger I get, and the more fun I have with it! Tune in to see what new recipes I come up with!