Things started innocently enough when I went for a walk one evening. It was just before dinner so I was definitely hungry.
For the past year, I have changed my diet to eliminate carbs in the form of grains (breads, pastas, etc.) and most definitely simple sugars, not only candy but hidden sources of sugars as well. This came about due to my increased awareness about the negative effects that our high carbohydrate modern diet is having on all of us. Add to this my renewed determination to stay healthy as I slide down the opposite side of turning 50 and I had my motivation.
So when I walked by a yogurt shop with the sweet flavors wafting out the front door, I was able to smile a bit to myself and keep going.
Some people who eat a healthy diet find that it works best to allow themselves to indulge one time per week. This makes a lot of sense. But for me, at least with sweets, I find it best to simply avoid them altogether. I noticed that on the rare occasion that I do have a piece of candy, it simply whets my appetite for more. This includes fruit juices which are pretty much sugar water. Yes, that glass of orange juice is not really very good for you. Better to eat an entire orange with all the pulp and nutrients .Whole fruits are definitely good.
The problem with carbohydrates is that our body processes them by secreting insulin. This signals the body to take those calories and turn them into fat. Although I have never had a serious weight issue, I did notice that I had slowly gained about 15 lbs. over the course of my 40’s. Without realizing it, I dropped that weight when I changed by diet. The key with weight loss is not calorie restriction. I eat as much as I want. The key is to eat as much as you want of the right kinds of food. Repeated studies show that losing weight by calorie restriction is rarely successful long term.
Perhaps half a dozen storefronts later I passed by a Mexican restaurant. I could smell beans and rice being cooked. These are not the worst offenders, and yet they still will raise those insulin levels which can be responsible for many of our modern diseases. This may be my biggest indulgence. Three times a week I will have beans, rice and grilled meat at a local Mexican restaurant (no wheat or chips). Frankly, this is more out of convenience then good nutrition, but this seems to work for me if I relegate it to those times only. So I passed by the delicious smells and kept going.
About four storefronts down I passed by a pizza place. Oof! My Achilles’ heel! Pizza is my favorite food in the world. There is no way getting around that. And yet, I have not eaten pizza for several months. As I watched the people sitting outside enjoying the warm summer evening and eating their pizzas with melting cheese, pepperoni and thick carbohydrate crusts my pace faltered a bit. Yes, it would’ve been so easy to walk in and order one. But I kept going. I thought about why I was able to resist the temptation when it would have been so easy to have just given in to the momentary pleasure. I realized it is the difference between strategic planning and tactical planning.
Tactical planning entails managing things on a day-to-day basis. This includes business endeavors where one is busy putting out fires that occur on a daily basis. With strategic planning, you have an overriding vision and plan. So I believe that what kept me from giving in to the momentary lure of that delicious pizza was having an over arching vision of how I want my health to be. Plus, knowing the science and appreciating what goes on in our body when we eat carbohydrates also helps as well.
I’ll discuss this more in future newsletters. Plus, I post great articles on health and nutrition on my fan page.
As you might expect, I went home ravenous. I ate this great chilled soup that Joanne makes in which she blends various different vegetables. With that I had a grass fed burger without the bun, slathered with ketchup and mustard. For dessert, some berries.