#AtoZChallenge — Mindful Eating

This post is part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I am challenging myself to reflect on other A to Z posts that I come across.


2017-12-12 18.54.37
Freshly made pasta is AMAZING. (This photo was taken before I started the keto diet, heh.)

Mindful eating is the practice of cultivating an open-minded awareness of how the food we choose to eat affects one’s body, feelings, mind, and all that is around us.

(source)

When I was a kid, my parents didn’t exactly encourage mindful eating. Eating was something I would always do at great speed, to the point where I would get scolded for rushing through dinner. I just didn’t want to sit at the dinner table any longer than I had to. It was all “What did you do today,” which I always found mind numbingly boring because it didn’t seem like actually talking so much as just going over itineraries.

I’ve also realized, upon reflection, that meals growing up were always very portion controlled and… kind of like being on a diet without anyone ever really needing to or saying the word diet. My dad likes to cook, and when I went off to college I didn’t realize that chicken stock and similar things could actually be bought in stores rather than made at home. Homemade stock, homemade tomato sauce, and homemade burgers cooked in the oven on little racks so all the fat (and moisture, and flavor) dripped out. Desserts were for special occasions, or if we had extra pears that my dad felt like poaching and making a simple syrup for, or sometimes just raspberries from the backyard with a little sugar and cream. If we had garlic bread, there were exactly four servings of garlic bread and no extras.

There was always one protein, one starch, and one vegetable, all of which were mandatory. Concessions were made for my dislike of certain vegetables, so I was never dragged kicking and screaming into eating a salad but I did choke down my fair share of broccoli. And if I took a really big scoop of mashed potatoes, or of rice, or of pasta, I often got a brief reminder not to eat too much starchy, bready things because then I might get fat.

When I savored food, it was in the somewhat rare evenings where we went out, or when I was at my Grandma’s house. Even then, I didn’t think too much of it.

Living in Sonoma County has changed my relationship with food entirely. Most of the restaurants around here have farm-to-table leanings, so everything is fresh and vivid and delicately nuanced with flavor. It’s that moment when you close your eyes and eat slowly, so slowly that in some moments you don’t even necessarily chew because you’re too distracted by just tasting, experiencing the moment.

2018-01-13 22.01.30
Chocolate Avocado Parfaits, with fresh raspberries and Pamela’s gf graham crackers crumbled up.

Kristen talks in her Healthy Eating Blog ‘Eating The Moment‘ post about how “eating often leaves us with feelings of guilt. We don’t listen to our bodies, but give in to our minds that are tricking us into thinking we’re hungry.” I remember experiencing that. But the more I take the time to savor my food, the less guilt I feel.

Also, now that I’m on the keto diet I pay a lot more attention to what I eat and experiment more with healthy recipes that I can make in our new slow-cooker, and that’s a whole new world of appreciation too. I even borrowed a book from the library (volunteer shelving leads to finding some interesting gems, let me tell you) full of low-sugar baking recipes and tips for using less processed sugar. I’ve made chocolate avocado parfaits, low sugar pumpkin cupcakes with honey-cream cheese frosting, dark chocolate coconut cups… Healthy desserts! And they were delicious.

I haven’t read the book that Kristen’s post is talking about, but I’m all for mindful eating. What about you? What kind of eating habits were you raised with, and how have they changed over time?

#AtoZChallenge — Efficiency in the Kitchen

This post is part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I am challenging myself to reflect on other A to Z posts that I come across. 


For newcomers: The A to Z Challenge is where a bunch of people blog throughout the month of April, choosing a certain theme and then posting with a corresponding letter for each day. The letter for today is…. Tips for Working in the Kitchen – Before you begin baking gather all the ingredients you need so you […]

via Efficiency in the Kitchen {A to Z Challenge 2018} — Noveltea


2018-04-05 23.07.51

Today, I made chocolate sour cream keto cupcakes, and my kitchen tip is to NOT try and make yourself do measuring cup math on the fly.

I attempted to figure out what 2/3 cup Swerve plus 3/4 cup almond flour is in the moment and it just didn’t work. Just measure the first thing, dump it in the mixing bowl, then measure the next thing. I’m genuinely not sure if I did 3/4 cup, 1/2 cup, or 1/3 cup.

But the cupcakes turned out pretty good! Only about 3g of carbohydrates per cupcake. (They’re not super big, but 100% dark chocolate packs a hell of a punch.)

Recipe: Keto Berry Ice Cream

Although I don’t regret stepping back from my previous job, it’s been almost seven months unemployment. This is around the time when the “oh my god why won’t anyone interview me” gloom sets in. It’s been so long that I wanted to title this post Motivation Monday, because I am genuinely having trouble keeping track of what day it is.

So today, I tried a new method for responding to job ads: blatant self-bribery. Continue reading “Recipe: Keto Berry Ice Cream”

English Toffee Fat Bombs — Keto Girl in a Carbed Up World

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 […]

via English Toffee Fat Bombs — Keto Girl in a Carbed Up World

I seriously need to try making these. Just as soon as I find a sugar free syrup in one of my local grocery stories.

The Keto experiment has begun.

I have a confession to make… This is the first diet I’ve ever been on.

Growing up in my parents house, my dad basically fed us like we were all on a diet. A protein, a starch, and vegetables with every meal, plus the built in kind of portion control you can only get from a man who buys things in bulk at Costco and then vacuum seals his own portions of “enough for four,” “enough for three,” “enough for two,” etc. We didn’t have much in the way of snacks around the house, usually, but when I did snack it was usually things like a slice off the big brick of Tillamook mild cheddar. Desserts were infrequent, and when they happened usually involved fresh fruit in some way.

I’m not saying I always ate my veggies, but I seldom ended up overeating at any given meal.

But now I’m going to be thirty in a few months, and I want to lose the stress weight from the past few years… Long story, mostly work related. My partner and I have both decided to try out the Keto diet, which basically means we eat so few carbs our bodies start to metabolize fat for energy instead. It seems like a fairly sustainable plan, and I don’t have to be on it forever.

The Experience So Far

I feel like crap. Crap in that special way where I’ve been ramping down my sugar intake since mid-January and I’m still sliding down the slope of a major energy low. One day I could barely make myself move for apathy and despair. Another day I kept crying about everything. Carb withdrawal is brutal.

The diet started officially a few days ago, and I’m not entirely sure I’ve limited my carb intake enough. Still, I feel like I already have the keto flu. If I do, that means I’m already done with some of the three to five days it usually lasts!

I made some very tasty cream cheese truffles. Gotta love Pinterest as a recipe source.

Tonight we both downloaded the KetoDiet Pro app, and that should help quite a bit with carb counting.

Have I mentioned that I feel like crap? It’s also entirely possible that I still have an actual cold. That, or the weather is warm enough that the plants have decided it’s spring and I’m getting seasonal sinus headaches again. Or possibly both.

Going Forward

I’m going to keep a better eye on my carbs, and start taking some vitamin B and C supplements along with my usual daily boost of vitamin D. Everything is still full steam ahead.

I’ve lost my mind and started rereading my old fanfiction, and actually still like a quite a bit of it. I mean, I’m going to go through several rounds of rereading and editing before I repost anything on Archive of Our Own, and not all of it is going to make the cut by any means, but a lot of it still makes me laugh in a good way. If nothing else it is nice to have a creative project.

Lastly, at some point in the future I want to start putting together my own cookbook of favorite, go-to recipes. That’s another project. I don’t know what it is about being more hands-on with my own food, but this is all very exciting — enough, at least, to push through the carb withdrawal.