Comments today instead of pictures. I ate the same thing for lunch and dinner. Farley had left me some of the chickpea recipe frozen. I thawed in and poured it over rice and greens. The recipe and pictures are shown earlier in the month. I take 2 demerits for two glasses of wine I drank with my wife. We were so happy to see each other after the week apart that it called for a celebration.
I don't worry about the occasional glass of wine because it is something that I can control. It is important to recognize when you can control something. I think that almonds are something that I can't control. I bought some last week because I couldn't find the walnuts. Walnuts I can control, but I found myself overeating the almonds, and eating them between meals. No more almonds. The interesting things was that, the day after eating way too many, my fbs was down to 96. Go figure. My comments today are about
Working on the Right End of the Equation.
I failed previously trying to apply Dr. McDougall's teachings, and I always look to others who are either succeeding and failing to see what I can learn. One of the turning points IMO is which end of the "equation" people work on.
I am talking about how our food tastes to us. We can try to emulate the SAD (Standard American Diet) foods we used to eat by making, e.g. vegetarian mayonnaise, or we can learn to like plain fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
I see a lot of people focused upon how to make vegan treats. This is easy to do, because you can use the same tricks as with SAD food. Just add salt, sugar or its equivalents, fats or their equivalents, processing, and increased calorie density. Popular foods with this approach are rich sauces, processed vegan foods like fortified cold cereals, baked and flour goods such as brownies, dried goods, such as puffed cereals, rice cakes, baked tortilla chips, etc. While these are ok for just about everybody occasionally, I don't see a lot of success with this as a general approach. By doing this, we are trying to appease our taste and or addiction for calorically dense food. It is an easy approach, since it is not hard to find or make calorie dense vegan food. Vegan ice cream, here we come.
The other end of the equation, which is too often dismissed, is to adapt our tastes to healthier foods, such as plain fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. When I found out how sick I was, one of the smartest things I did was hire Jeff Novick as a dietician and food coach. Jeff explained to me very clearly that if I wanted to reclaim my health, I need to focus upon plain whole plant foods. The plainer the better.
This seemed like a daunting task at first. My food pleasure went way down. It was so bad in the first few weeks that at times I considered abandoning what I was doing. But I stuck with it, and the concepts of Dr. Douglas Lisle were really crucial to me in keeping up my resolve. Dr. Lisle is co-author of a book entitled "The Pleasure Trap." Dr. McDougall also sells some of Dr. Lisle's DVDs on his website, and they are excellent.
I had to rewatch the DVDs and reread the book often during the transition to better foods because I knew that I could not suffer like I was for the long term. What Dr. Lisle assured me was that I did not have to suffer long term - that shortly my tastes would adapt to the new foods. Of course, he was correct. In a matter of a few weeks I was enjoying the whole plant foods as much as I ever enjoyed any foods. In fact, more, because I no longer experienced the indigestion or drugged out sensation I experienced with the old foods.
So many people know about the benefits of healthy eating but cannot pull it off. I think the main reason is that they do not understand how quickly good foods begin to taste great, and how quickly your body responds by feeling so much better. But there is not question that there is a steep hill to climb at the outset.
The bottom line to me is that it is so much better to adapt your tastes to the foods you know are healthy than it is to adapt healthy foods to appeal to your existing tastes on a SAD diet. We think of our tastes as static, but as Dr. Lisle explains, they are not.
Another important thing to consider when "down regulating" our tastes to more simple food is that total abstinence is required. We crave calorie dense foods, and sadly, we know how to refine and combine foods to increase their appeal to us. As long as we indulge our taste with little bits of this high calorie density foods, our taste mechanism never down regulates. Those little tastes are all it takes to make the healthy food continue to taste bad. As long as we are tasting chocolate now and then, vegetables are never going to taste great.
So the one thing that you need to take on faith is this. If you commit to a healthy diet, and abstain from processed and calorie rich foods, you will soon be liking the new food as well as the old. And you will have all the benefits of the healthy diet, which are tremendous.
But as long as you are searching for the perfect vegan brownie or ice cream recipe, you are never going to like healthy food. So work on the right end of the equation - your tasting mechanism. You will be so glad that you did.