My new renewed friendship and passion for food (Part II)
I feel very lucky in that the friendships I have fostered now are the sort that can weather change.
I think having a good support system is really crucial for how well you do; with the caveat that if you are a scrappy survivor type - you will just claw your way through anything with or without it.
But to have support is amazing. It lifts you up and just makes this next journey in your life easier.
What you don't want around you are people who refuse to understand you or your needs.
Although they do not need to compromise for you, you most certainly should not for them; and food in that sense can be divisive!
People believe all sorts of different things about it and what is healthy, what is good for you, what you should or should not eat, what time you should eat and not etc...
Many well wishing friends and family like giving you well intentioned advice because really food is life, love, culture and identity.
Today marks the 55th day of my life as a T2D on a mostly low carb, moderate protein and 'sensible to me' amount of fat meal plan.
I also intermittent fast which basically means that sometimes I omit having breakfast or breakfast and lunch, or breakfast and dinner.
I calorie count - I'm not particularly strict about it but I try to be in a ballpark guestimate of the Kcal value of things.
At the moment I'm restricting myself to around 800 calories a day. It's sometimes over or under depending a lot on what's happening but I rarely deviate past 1000 and often fall within a range of between 600-950cal.
I keep my carbs to within a tolerance of 30-40g.
I use apps (https://www.nutracheck.co.uk/Home) to keep track* (https://lifeapps.io/apps/life-fasting-tracker/ keeps track of my Intermittent Fasting - when I can remember to set it! )
I have omitted the following things as much as I can humanly manage from my current food intake ie.
The only really regular exercise that I do is to try and keep to 10k in steps daily (I average about 5-6 days a week on target, sometimes more sometimes less)
- Pasta, Rice, Potatoes
- Fruits and Fruit Juices
- Baked goods with grain based flours
- Refined Sugars
- Drinking milk
- Low fat anything
- Sunflower oil
Sometimes I achieve those steps in a 2 hour walk (I'm up to a pace of about 1km in 15 mins), sometimes it's spread out in a day, sometimes I run them.
Why I say that I have a new renewed friendship and passion for food is this :
1) I'm rediscovering what food really tastes like.
I have now found out just how much food contains sugar in one form or the other.
Even a famous brand mustard contains quantities of it that just boggled my mind. So much of what we have been consuming contains it even when it seems utterly unnecessary for there to be any such amount needed at all. When it became important to me to know how much sugar I was consuming ordinarily, it totaled up. That healthy glass of juice, that low fat tub of yogurt, that heart healthy high in fruit and fiber with no added sugar cereal coupled with my indulgences. However, I could have been a diet saint and still have ended up here based on my own ignorance.
Without the 'taint' of sugar in things, I really believe that my sense of taste has become much more acute. Also, since I have dropped carbs from my diet, I'm less afraid of fat. I don't deliberately set out to add more of it to what I would regularly eat, but I am no longer afraid of it. I'll eat it if it's part of the steak I'm having instead of cutting it out and leaving it on the plate. I buy full fat yogurt and cream because it's actually better for me than low fat versions! I'm even starting to incorporate cooking with beef dripping - which I would have avoided before now and fat is definitely flavour!
2) I'm exploring new ideas, things and tastes.
We all fall into that habit , we like our comforts - it's an effort to try something new and I'm guilty of it. I had become somewhat routine in some of the things I'd cook because we have our favorites and we know that they go down well and that we like them enough. Now I had to throw out the old books and try some things I'd never tried to cook with before, like celeriac and swede, coconut, chickpea and almond flours, venison etc..
I was restocking my larder and expanding my cooking palette with different things!
3) My world is even more delicious now than it ever was before.
I'm not a bad cook and that helps. This was never going to work if it wasn't delicious and sustainable as a way of life for myself and my partner.
It has forced me to be more creative and to milk every trick in the book that I know for yumminess. The best part is that I see results. My partner (he's not T2D) has lost weight and he's not even doing what I'm doing full tilt. He has weekend meals with me in which we'll eat the same but our weekday meals differ. He still enjoys a full English as he's training it down to work. I also made a dear friend of mine get on the same guidelines I was following to his diet (he's not T2D either) but his mobility has improved vastly since the diet helped him loose and keep the weight off. It is also amazing to discover just how satiated you can feel when you are eating really well.
We only consume aprox. 800 cals a day so I try to pack those calories with good nutrition as well as deliciousness
Of course we have indulgences too. I have ice-cream and I make cakes and muffins. Whilst I can't currently have a lot of what I used to enjoy eating, I'm finding different ways to eat just as well, to reimagine them.
I find myself almost a little evangelical about it ( I am a preacher's daughter after all)
Here are some of our meals :
Burger with Grilled Flat Mushroom bun & Celeriac Chips
(522 Kcals, 14.9g Carbg. For all you see here)
Custard Egg Tofu & Almond Tarts
(145 Kcal, 5.0 Carbg per Tart)
Roasted Skatewing & Sambal in Banana Leaf with Cauliflower Rice.
(186Kcal, 8.5 Carbg)
*at least for this year where I am learning to eyeball things and to understand portions and portion sizes - this app is subscription base and I didn't mind subscribing for the convenience of being able to barcode scan and tally up my totals for the day. I did buy carbs and cals which was what my DN recommended but found it limiting since it wouldn't allow me to calculate the value of my own meals as easily.
I put myself on a Pleato800 diet - A self blended mix between Paleo, Keto and the Blood Sugar Diet.
I've lost a stone since being on it (25/02) and better still I haven't found it back again. Not even a pebble!
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