Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Retrospective #458: Is it time to clean out the pantry?

If you’re new to eating Low Carb, and/or specifically Very Low Carb (as I eat), and you’re human (as I am), you probably have a couple of challenges ahead of you. If you live alone, you’re lucky, at least in this respect: The only food in the house, then, would be the food you bought. You have no one to blame but yourself for your choices.
Of course, if you blame someone else for the food choices they made, by buying food you’re trying not to eat, you have another problem: taking responsibility yourself for the food you decide to put in your mouth. But we’re all human, as I’ve said, and I’ll have to admit, it is sometimes hard for me not to eat the food I’m trying to avoid. I have a problem is it’s just sitting in the pantry, especially in OPEN boxes, containers and bags, or worse JUST SITTING ON THE COUNTER. Most of my neurotransmitters still work. Have you heard about the cephalic response?
But the fact is, “if you live alone…the only food in the house is the food you bought,” including a vestigial accumulation of “before” foods. In transitioning from eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) to eating Very Low Carb, you still have goods in your pantry (and frig) that remain from those halcyon days of yesteryear when you ate processed foods and sweets to your “heart’s content” – wow, is that a misnomer. More correctly – to satisfy your brain’s addiction to foods that were developed and produced to addict you to them. When you blamed yourself for eating that food, you called it a “craving.” It’ll be awhile before you’re weaned off them and realize you no longer need them.
Until that time, you need to take steps to reduce the temptation to stray from the new Way of Eating that you have set for yourself. This Way of Eating may seem difficult at first, and confusing too, until you learn when and what to eat, and not eat, but you will eventually sort this out. When you follow a Very Low Carb (VLC) Way of Eating for a period of time (a few days or maybe longer), and you lower your blood insulin and deplete your liver glycogen supply of stored glucose, you will transition to being a “fat burner.” For that point forward, you will not be hungry.
But, if you’re like me, that doesn’t mean you won’t be tempted to eat carbs, both the highly processed ones and sweets. So, the best defense is a strong offense. You need to take charge. Clean out your pantry and frig of all things that might tempt you when you “raid” the kitchen looking for something to put in your mouth.
When you were a “sugar burner,” you were probably told you should eat 5 or 6 times a day, that you needed these infusions, or “snacks,” for energy.  That was true. When you followed the Standard American Diet (SAD), which is 55% to 60% carbohydrate, and you have Insulin Resistance (IR), your blood sugar goes up and down like a roller coaster, but your blood insulin level stays high (because of your IR). And because your blood insulin is still high, you don’t have access to your body fat for energy. So, you need to snack on carbs (or fat), for that “energy boost” (energy balance).
But when you eat Very Low Carb, you’re not hungry. You have access to body fat for energy so you don’t need to snack. If you do snack, just recognize it as a bad habit. Eat only when you’re actually hungry. Don’t cave to a bad habit when you’re not actually hungry. Eat only, at most, three small meals a day. Even better: eat just two, or even one meal a day (OMAD). EAT ONLY WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY. Your body will feed itself (on you) the rest of the time.
So, start with the pantry. It will be cathartic, and it will boost your confidence that you have finally crossed the Rubicon and there’s no going back. You can probably throw out almost everything. Think of all the space you will create! I started with the “vegetable” oils. They were all oxidized and rancid anyway. And the Crisco (trans fats).
If you have unopened jars of jelly or honey or boxes of sugar, donate them to a food bank. Virtue signaling will make you feel good.  Fill a garbage bag with open containers from the pantry and frig. That’s what all the sugar-filled, processed “foods” are anyway. Garbage. The exercise of clearing away the past and preparing to go forward into a future that you have envisioned for yourself is very Jungian. It’s the kind of self-therapy that supports the future you have chosen for yourself, a future in which you self-manage your type 2 diabetes by treating this disease for what it is: A DIETARY DISEASE. Repeat: TYPE 2 DIABETES IS A DIETARY DISEASE. And you can eat your way out of it, OMAD.

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