The end of the day, the end of the blog
So you may be wondering what the heck happened to us. No entries since Dec 2009? Well, here is the short version. We went on vacation over the Christmas holidays to Tampa / St. Pete and we decided before hand that we would not hold ourselves to the rather strict limits we had put on our food choices. Mostly, it is just too difficult to follow our plan if we are away from home.
While we did strive to find decent places to eat (no chain restaurants, only places that serve real food) it wasn’t always easy and there were some occasions in which we either chose to indulge ourselves (waffle house comes to mind) or we just didn’t have any better alternative than fast food (no, going hungry is not an option). In addition, we lifted the no sugar ban. This action turned out to be educational in the “not so good” way. There was one particularly painful episode of fudge binging that made me feel ill the next morning, and I fell back into my coca-cola habit. I am surprised at how easy it was to lose control and return to my old ways, even though the consequences in terms of how I felt each day were clearly negative
At the end of vacation, I was more than ready to return to our experiment here. What we found, however, was that it wasn’t as easy as it was when we started in August. Somehow, the sugar found its way in and had a foothold. And no matter how sincere our intentions, we continued to indulge the sweet tooth. Perhaps not to the extent that we did on vacation, but certainly we were no longer living as strict as we had prior to that week. So, we started discussing how we might modify the current plan to include the occasional treat.
Where does that leave us now and what have I learned? Well, for me, sugar is truly addictive, so much so that I can’t be around it and not lose control. Diane seems much better at controlling intake, so if there are treats around she limits me to a reasonable portion. Sounds pathetic, I know, but it is either this or nothing and it doesn’t seem like we can get back to that. However, for the majority of our food intake we still follow the plan. We still purchase our food from our local farmers – right now that consists primarily of meat and eggs, since nothing else grows in fifty feet of snow (no kidding, check the news). We still cook most of our meals, bake our own bread, and experiment with new recipes. If we buy produce, it is from whole foods and mostly confined to what is normally available this time of year (potatoes, carrots, citrus fruits, etc). We don’t buy food that has traveled further than we have in our lives (except the occasional banana), which restricts us to foods grown in the US. And, when the farmers market opens up again we will be there every week.
So, did we fail? Well, if the goal was no sugar or processed food for a year, then the answer is yes. But in that failure I discovered food that tastes better than anything I had previously purchased at the grocery stores. I am feeling better than I was this time last year, and there are indications that my health might be improving as well. During a recent medical visit (a week or so before the vacation) I was down 3 lbs from the summer and my bp was 120 / 78. Now, my bp was never all that high to begin with, but my systolic reading hardly ever got below 135. I think that, for someone rapidly approaching 50, things are moving in the right direction.