Grocery Store Trip

These aren’t the only things I will eat this week, and some things may take me months to finish. However, I thought it would be good to share with you guys a little bit of how I grocery shop and what kinds of things I keep around. Notice: lots of raw things, less pre-packaged stuff… ūüôā

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Finding Real Comfort in Food

Up until just a few months ago, for most of my life, food has been my security blanket. Whenever I had a rough day, an interaction that left me feeling insecure, or my depression began to enclose on me again, I knew exactly how french fries and a cheeseburger would make me feel. I knew they wouldn’t reject me, they’d make me feel the same way they always did, and I could enjoy them for about ten minutes. Ten minutes of comfort. Ten minutes of easing the pain of being tormented by depression and insecurity. Ten minutes of feeling “happy”.

For a brief moment, I felt good.

But all of those brief moments of good tasting mac-n-cheese, mashed potatoes, garlic bread, and pizza left me feeling empty inside. When my plate was clean and the dishes were done, I was still insecure. I was still depressed. I was still ashamed of my body.

And each time I ate a curly fry dipped in Arby’s sauce, I gained a little more on my waist, and lost a little more confidence in who I was.

Why couldn’t I control my weight? Why couldn’t I have controlled what I had ate three months ago, so I look different today? Why was the person in the mirror so much different than who I thought I was?

To be fair, I didn’t eat fast food or carbs all of the time. I did not seek comfort in every single meal.¬†Primarily, I ate pretty good. I ate a standard “food pyramid” American diet with the occasional fast food.¬† But I did eat impulsively sometimes. And sometimes I’d stretch those ten minutes of feeling good into twenty minutes by getting a second helping of a meal. Part of this was biological; when we eat a few carbs, our body starts wanting more, so we eat more. The other part of this was psychological. We feel good when we eat carbs, so we want more.

So, week after week, I lost the food battle. The weeks turned into months, and the months turned into years. And after I had lost enough battles, I became overwhelmed with the feeling of defeat. That feeling of defeat controlled me. It became a part of who I was. Most of the time, I hung my head down in shame. I avoided pictures with my family. I avoided mirrors. I avoided people, because I didn’t want them to see me like this.And the extra weight that stuck to my body stood as a testament to my lack of self-control and my battles lost.

And so the cycle would continue. I’d eat to numb that pain. I’d eat to feel in control. As if I were telling myself,¬†This isn’t something that is happening to you, it’s something we are choosing. It’s ok to be a little “thick”.¬†I’d eat for that ten minutes of feeling “happy” again.

Then, I started Keto. For those of you that are already ketoers, you probably know the feeling of eating just for the sake of getting your body some nutrients. Eating keto usually means eating a lot of the same foods over and over. After about two months of keto, your body starts to stop craving carbs all the time. I thank God that I had the discipline to keep it together for those two months, to get those cravings out of my body!

It wasn’t until recently that I realized I’d been winning the battle, though. While at multiple Christmas dinners this year, I realized my plate was not as full as it was in previous Christmases. I did not make excessive trips back to the food to fill my plate again. I did not feel overly stuffed or uncomfortable with the foods I ate.

In fact, over Thanksgiving, I lost a pound. And over Christmas, I maintained my weight.

That is what real comfort food, my friends.

Food that makes you feel comfortable in your own body. Food that helps you exude confidence, rather than defeat.

Food that’s “good feeling” lasts longer than the ten minutes you are tasting it, you have that good feeling every time you look in a mirror. Food that gives you fuel to be the person that you know you are.¬†Food that doesn’t make you feel guilty or fuel your depression.

Real comfort food isn’t about what makes you feel good for a fleeting ten minutes. Comfort food is about fueling your body so you can be confident in who you are.

And this is why I won’t go back to the other lifestyle. Its about more than what is on my plate. I don’t want to go back to hanging my head in shame. I want to continue to be happy with who I am. I want the food I eat to reflect who I want to become.

I broke the cycle. I’ve won the battle. It’s about keeping it that way now.

English Toffee Fat Bombs

I’m pretty sure that Fat Bombs were named by a male because the name does not sound nearly as appealing as the treat itself is. I think if I invented the fat bomb, I’d probably name it “PMS Lifesaver” or “Chocolaty Drops of Heaven” or “There’s No Way I can Eat these and Lose Weight Candies”.

These delicious treats keep me full for hours with providing me with my coconut oil needs for the day. They also help get my fat intake up, which is essential to the keto diet. If you have concerns about me eating too much fat and my body absorbing all the fat, don’t worry. Remember, on Keto, my body runs on fat, not glucose. In fact, studies, like this one completed last month in the UK, have shown that even saturated fats aren’t bad for you. Remember, fat doesn’t just go straight from our mouth to our stomach to our hips and gut. It’s broken down and used by the body, just like other nutrients. If there is excess, then yes, the body will store it. However, your body won’t store the fat if it is used as energy.

Ok… Enough already!

This is the recipe for English Toffee Fat Bombs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 3/4 Tbs cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of Natural Peanut Butter
  • 3 Tbs¬†Davinci Gourmet Sugar Free English Toffee Syrup

The suryp comes in a bottle like this:Image

Directions:

  1. Put all of your ingredients in a pot on the stovetop on a medium/low heat. Image
  2. Stir until everything melts together and is smooth.Image
  3. Pour them into a mold of some kind. I used a mini muffin pan, but I hear some people use silicone pans. Pop those suckers in the freezer for a few hours.Image
  4. After a few hours, they’ll be good to go. Pop them out and try not to eat them all! They store well in the freezer.Image

Nutritional Information:

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When a Calorie isn’t just a Calorie

Imagine with me, what the first people ate. I personally believe that these people were Adam and Eve, but no matter what your beliefs on who these people were, I bet we can agree on most of what they ate. They ate vegetables. They ate animal products like eggs and milk. They ate beans and nuts and legumes of all kinds. They probably ate some berries and maybe some other fruits.

I think we could probably think of somethings that they didn’t eat. They probably didn’t water down their milk and add sugar for flavor. They probably didn’t have a way of making bread. They probably didn’t fry potatoes. They didn’t eat donuts for breakfast and pie before bed.

Before Keto, I would naturally eat somewhere between 1500-1800 calories a day. Sometimes more, few times less. Now I struggle to even get to 1200 because I’m full from all the fatty foods I eat.

I used to think that a calorie was a calorie and I could just cut calories and lose weight. And then I started following this guy named¬†Sam Feltham. Sam knew that there was a difference between 1500 calories of protein and fat and 1500 calories of carbs. What Sam didn’t know, is that the results of his study convinced me that the Ketogenic life was a better life to live.

Sam set out to eat almost 6,000 calories per day of ketogenic type foods. He ate a low-carb, high fat diet of at least 5,800 calories every day. He had calculated that if a calorie were a calorie, based on his intake and output, he should have gained about 16 pounds. However, after 21 days, he only gained three pounds~! He also lost over an inch on his waist, even with eating such a huge surplus of food!

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5,800 calories per day on a low-carb, high fat diet
(http://www.dietdoctor.com/overeating-carbs-worse-overeating-lchf-diet)

He then replicated the experiment by eating a low-fat, high carb diet. And the results were more what you’d expect. Eating 5,800 calories in a high carb diet made him gain the 16 pounds he was expecting. He also put on 3 1/2 inches on his waist.

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Twenty-one days of eating 5,800 calories in a low fat, high carb diet
http://www.dietdoctor.com/overeating-carbs-worse-overeating-lchf-diet

So, you tell me, do you still believe a calorie is a calorie? We already know that a high carb diet increases insulin production which increases fat storage. Now, we have visible proof that a high carb diet will make us fat.

What is frustrating to me is that we still perpetuate the idea that a high fat diet is bad for us. At the residential facility where I work, the cafeteria has had to revamp their menu due to government policies that restrict how much fat the residents eat. The other problem with this, is that when fat is taken out of foods like dressings or milk, it is replaced with sugar! So not only are we taking away the healthy fats which keep them full longer, we are adding sugar which will increase appetite and force the body to store fat.

Don’t do this to yourself anymore. Stop buying low-fat foods and opt for full fat. Don’t buy into the lie that all calories are created equal. Personally, I like to keep eating like the first humans did. More fat. More protein. Little to no sugar. After all, we no have evidence that a low carb, high fat diet is better.

Catching a Break

I know it seems like I’ve neglected my blog this week, but it was not exactly what I wanted to do. I just finished working almost 60 hours in four days, so there wasn’t much time for me to sleep, let alone blog. I did get several short work-outs in, though. I am pleased to say that I have three days off now, though.

I also hadn’t had that much time to even weigh myself, and with it being shark week, I thought it probably wouldn’t be a good idea for my morale anyway.

Much to my surprise, I work up this morning two pounds less than the last time I weight myself. My plateau broke, and I am at one of my lowest weights in five years.¬†I honestly feel like I am losing more fat, but I might be gaining muscle. My scale that will tell me my body fat percentage is coming in, and I’m excited to start tracking that!

I know it would be impossible for me to be able to keep up this diet if I didn’t plan ahead. I work with some adolescent boys that had found themselves in trouble with the law in one way or another and are court ordered to complete a counseling program at a residential facility. One thing we teach these guys is that you must plan ahead to get ahead. Every week, before my week even starts, I plan out all of my meals for the week and prepare them. ¬†It also takes just about as much effort to make all my meals up for the week at one time as it does for me to make one meal at a time. It only takes about 45 minutes each week for me to make up all my meals for the week.

This week, I made my own Lunchables with 1 oz of Colby Cheese, 1 oz of summer sausage, 1 celery stalk and 1 Tbs of homemade no-sugar added peanut butter. If I didn’t do this simple task each week, I believe I would likely eat the protein and veggie that the boys were eating in the cafeteria, and I would often not be able to eat Keto at all. I ate my homemade Lunchables for lunch and dinner every day this week and that was all I needed to eat to no long feel hungry. It feels great to be at a point where my insulin levels are in check, so I don’t feel the need to keep eating once I am full.

Anyway, I’m glad I finally getting a break, both from work and from my scale! I’ll keep you updated about how the weekend goes!