24 September 2011

Food Frustrations

One of the big changes that's taken place since I was posting more regularly is that we've gone low-carb. I've eliminated grains, and cut way down on starches and sugar. (A couple of book reviews coming up! And, no, this won't become a low-carb blog.)

I'm feeling so much better than I have in a long, long time. The volcanic acid reflux that was waking me up three or four nights each week disappeared with the grains. My wrist soreness is gone (I had a couple of weird lumps on the insides of my wrists that doctors had no ideas about and was experiencing severe pain when I typed - not so good when one has a deadline and lots of computer work to do to meet said deadline!), and my digestion is greatly improved. I have more energy and it's much easier to stop eating when I'm full (something that was nearly impossible when I was eating grains, wheat to be specific). I haven't had any incidents of hypoglycemia at all. If it's 'time to eat' and there's nothing appropriate around, it's no problem to simply wait until a more opportune moment. I've also found that my previously-thought-untameable sweet tooth has learned to heel - no more cravings for sweets. Even dark chocolates haven't been as appealing as of late.

For the most part, we're eating meat, a good amount of healthy fats, eggs (our newest batch of chickens is beginning to lay!), lots of veggies and salads with feta and olive oil and balsamic vinegar as dressing. Snacks consist of fruit (mostly berries, so far) and almonds (yum!). I'm drinking raw milk, just a little at a time a few times each week, some tea and cold-brewed coffee with a little turbinado and heavy cream, and lots of water. I also splurge every once in awhile with hard cranberry lemonade, hard cider (there's a wonderful, light, hard cider served at our local Irish Pub), or a glass of wine. I'm working to keep fresh bone broth (chicken or beef) on hand, especially when the weather cools down and I'd like something that isn't sweet to warm me up. I wish we could afford more pasture-raised meats, but with the size family we have, that's just not in the cards right now. So we focus on pastured butter

I've started trying to experiment with coconut and almond flours, but I'm not doing too well with them! I've come to the conclusion that it's better not to try to eat low-carb versions of high-carb foods for a couple of reasons. First, low-carb versions of high-carb foods that are processed foods include lots of starches to work toward the same textures. The starches, however, raise blood sugar levels too high for me with my weight-loss goals. Second, the low-carb varieties never taste as good as the real thing and they remind me how much I miss the real thing. This sets up psychological cravings, mostly for bread. (I love bread, but it doesn't love me back!)

But, my family (also doing better with no grains) does appreciate my efforts at the variety, so I'll keep trying. The problem is that I know how wheat flour behaves and how to make it do what I want. I need to find a way to learn how coconut flour and almond meal (and other nut flours and meals) work so I can not only follow others' recipes, but play around with them myself.

More on this as time goes on!


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