Thursday, October 20, 2011

October 19

Oct 19
Lunch was a collection of things in the refrigerator mostly.  We still had some leftover mix of chopped veggies in the refrigerator, as well as some mixed fruit and of course chopped greens.
Assortment of some food available for lunch
The brown rice was added, and what really made this meal a tasty lunch was what Farley did to the Japanese sweet potato.  I was simply going to throw it in the bowl, but Farley had a bit of the leftover chickpea curry.  She peeled and chopped the sweet potato and put the pieces into the curry mixture and warmed the lot in the microwave.  It was really a delicious treat.  I can picture that combo as a sauce that could be used in many situations.  Anybody would find it delicious.  Here is what everything looked like when ready to eat.
The curried sweet potato was a great idea
I had seconds because it tasted so good.  I also had some walnuts, since we had some after being out for a week or so.  I ate a bit extra because I was playing a college concert that evening.  I am playing trombone, which takes a lot of air.  I didn't want to be playing that evening with a full stomach, and knew that I would be returning home late, which I did at about 10:30 pm.  I was a bit hungry, but not ready to eat dinner at that time.  Too bad, because Farley invented something new to us, and she said it was delicious (she was home - is coming to the Monday performance where my son and I will be playing together in a joint band / orchestra performance).  I will write Farley's comments on dinner even though I didn't have any.  It did smell delicious.
Tonight's dinner was something I dreamed up just today and was easy and fast to prepare, (and delicious!) then slow-cooked for 3 hours.

White Navy Beans and Banana Squash with Kale.

Into a slow-cooker add
1 15 oz can of no-salt added Navy Beans, rinsed and drained
1 28 oz can of Roma tomatoes, chopped plus the juice
1/4 banana squash, peeled and cubed
3 ribs of celery sliced
1 orange bell pepper chopped
1/2 Cup of red wine (I use Zin or a Cab)
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1 tsp dried Basil

Cook on high for 3 hours and then keep warm

1 large bunch of kale, washed, stemmed and chopped

Steam kale for 30 minutes until very tender.

I served this over brown rice, layered with the kale and then the bean stew. A splash of balsamic vinegar is just the perfect finisher.

Learning about my hunger
It occurred to me that I am learning the difference between true and toxic hunger and just about within the common time frame that Dr. Fuhrman discusses in his revised "Eat to Live."  (Did I mention that this is a fantastic book?)  A few months ago, I would have been feeling miserable missing dinner.  I would have felt weak, with stomach growling and probably head beginning to ache.  I would have been anxious to feed my toxic hunger.  Now, it is not a big deal to only eat one meal.

I am hungry as I write this (Oct 20 am), but it is not an unpleasant sensation.  I am really looking forward to lunch.  Because I am hungry, it will taste better.  I mean that literally, too.  Doug Lisle explains how our hunger mediates our pleasure response from food.  Our brain gives us more pleasure from eating when we are truly hungry - it is encouraging us to eat.  Eating when hungry makes the food taste better.  Between that, and becoming used to a lower calorie density diet, I think that I am getting more pleasure from my food than others who stuff themselves frequently with high calorie density SAD treats.  Plus I get the undeniable health benefits.  Learning what hunger is, and how to deal with it, was a real missing piece of the puzzle for me.


  1. HI, Bob,
    As you adjust to feeling true hunger, and as you clean up your diet (even more), do you find that you experience less of the toxic hunger and/or shorter duration of toxic hunger? These days, when I get that rumbly tummy, I think, "Oh. that's just toxic hunger" where before I would take it as a cue that I needed to eat. I'm sort of enjoying "playing" with the feeling; experimenting to see how it feels and how long it lasts.

    I have also noticed how much better I feel when I eat the right foods and don't stuff myself. Particularly after a family gathering, where everyone else has pretty much been stuffing themselves on SAD holiday fare. Everyone else is dozing in front of the TV, and I'm ready to go for a hike or something. There's a sort of lightness and clarity of thought, and the meal is truly a "refreshment" that leaves me satisfied and with energy to spare.

  2. Gweithgar,
    My experience is very similar to your own. I had a few days of fairly unpleasant experience while trying to find out what true hunger was. But I was eating in response to toxic hunger all my life. On the other hand, my diet has been good for these last almost 4 years. What you see in the October challenge here is the way I have been eating for a long time.

    I also agree with you about why you describe as that energetic feeling when my digestive system is empty. I just perform better, as I did last night at concert. I remember very well the bloated and sleepy feeling from eating SAD food in response to toxic hunger. I'd be interested in hearing more about your experiences. Please keep posting. I know that you are losing some weight too. Great work.

  3. Gweithgar, I know what you mean about "playing" with the feelings. Knowing that the "rumblings" are toxic hunger and not "I'M STARVING!" (LOL.... I'd say that with a roll of fat on my belly. Starving? I don't think so...) really improves my ability to work through it.

    I've also had the same experience of clarity of thought. SO different that how we were raised, I'm still getting a handle on all of this.

  4. And, the weight loss is coming along. I wanted to lose 10 pounds this month, and I'm well on my way. Losing this will get my BMI to the 19's, and I've had so much trouble in the past getting to this weight. You know... that last 10 pounds is the hardest thinking. I know weight loss slows down as there is less to lose, but I also think for me there was a big mental aspect to it - that I had gotten down to a good number so I deserved more treats. And of course... the weight loss didn't continue. But it wasn't because my body refused - I stopped doing what I needed to do. As I work to get a better grasp on toxic hunger and focus on non-processed foods, I see myself losing some more fat quite easily.