As some people are celebrating holidays that include things like chocolate, candy, and feasts, I am seeing a ton of food shaming, food policing, and food moralizing. All of this is crap for the reasons I explain here, but I thought what I would do today is give you some options for response. Note, today’s responses are […]
I have been hungrier than usual lately. Not sure why since my activities levels haven’t really gone up. If anything, they have gone down because we are freezing our asses off up here in Canada and getting burried in snow. It makes dog walking a special kind of work. The kind of work where you do a ton of it but don’t get very far for your efforts. (Fitocracy really needs a “
walked hiked trudged with dog through snow” option.)
Managing hunger can be a tricky thing. Personnally, I find I am hungry a lot. Even after eating a respectable meal. I was watching a youtube video the other day where a power lifter said hunger was never really a problem for her. I started the video over and watched it again. The idea of not needing to manage hunger seems so foreign. It is not something I have experienced. I always wake up hungry for breakfast. I have been waking up wanting a peanut butter sandwich above all else. I then have my usual breakfast. I have experimented with various eating schedules, meal frequencies, and meal sizes to see if one was best for managing my hunger. Ultimatley, I didn’t really notice a difference in over all hunger levels between having three large meals a day versus 5-7 small meals per day.
Every other day there is a “new” article repeating the same bits of pseudoscience and other fluff about how many diet mistakes you are making. They all say the same things over and over based on cherry-picked bits of research that the author may or may not have actually spent any real time trying to understand. All these writers could save themselves and other people from all sorts of questionable advice with the following article:
How many diet errors are you making?
The Answer: One. Just one. You are dieting.
How to fix it: Stop dieting. Screw the entire dieting mentality! Eat the food.
Whew. That was hard work to write. I am going to go take a break now.
We got a Costco membership recently. On our first visit I discovered that if we are going to shop at Costco we need to be selective and only get things we use daily because all those bulk items just won’t fit in our little apartment. I also discovered Costco sells protein powder in large tubs at a price that works out to the lowest cost per serving I have been able to find where I am. So I did a little research on the brands of protein powder they carry and decided on trying the Combat Powder (Cookies n’ Cream flavour) by MusclePharm. Online reviews for this one were generally good. It is a hybrid protein powder meaning it is made with whey, casein, and egg proteins rather than just whey protein which I had been using up till now. Well I have finally found a protein that I actually like to drink as a shake. I mix one scoop with 1 cup of vanilla unsweetened almond milk and it is very tasty. It is thick with some sweetness and no weird after taste. I was really surprised. It mixes really well into my morning oatmeal too. My breakfast tastes more like breakfast cookie dessert now and all I did was change protein powders. I am still not going to try cooking with it though.
Coconut oil and chia seeds are probably one of the few health trends I have tried that have not back fired on me some how. It is all fine and dandy to read about some supposedly awesome (possibly new to you) item on some one’s blog or in a magazine or whatever it is and a completely different thing entirely to actually try it. Every once and while I actually try out the silly (and possibly overly hyped up) things I read about and it can be disappointing. I mentioned that most of my cooking with whey attempts end up pretty disastrously. Nutritional yeast was not particularly exciting. But what can one expect from something that looks like midly radioactive fish food. Although, to be fair it was tasty mixed into mashed sweet potato. Flax seed, that thing that was suppose to fix all fiber related problems (???) did not agree with my stomach at all. Two things that I have found both yummy and convenient to add to my food/cooking sometimes are chia seeds and coconut oil. If you have not had coconut oil in oatmeal I recommend trying it. It is even yummier if you put some coconut oil, shredded coconut, and cinnamon together in oatmeal. And coconut oil is another alternative for cooking in the place of butter and other oils. Chia seeds are yummy in yogurt. The chia seeds are neutral in terms of flavour but they thicken the yogurt and add texture.
. . . not much point to this post other than to say coconut oil and chia seeds are yummy. . . . also I am bored.
As fabulous as a protein source as whey is, it is very not fabulous in the taste department. I started using whey protein powder a few years ago. I have tried multiple brands and have found them all to be pretty freaking gross when prepared as per the directions on the packaging (mix with 8oz water, milk or juice and drink). When mixing whey protein into water I find the only way to avoid gagging is to add a single serving of crystal light drink crystals or equivalent. I have found exactly one brand of vanilla whey protein that is tasty when put in hot oatmeal. All the other brands I have tried had some pretty funky after tastes that couldn’t be covered even by peanut butter. After choking down so many bad whey proteins (because I refuse to waste them once I have them) I always waffle back and forth on whether I should try a casein protein powder or not. I don’t look forward to the idea of starting the whole process of finding something good by trial and error all over again with another protein powder.
Despite all this, every so often I fall victim to the “baking with whey” bug and decide I will give just one more recipe a try. I convince myself that maybe this protein bar, or these whey protein cookies, or this whey protein fudge will taste better than the last three recipes I tried. The last batch of almond whey cookies I tried were so terrible (fortunately the recipe made a tiny amount) I fed them to my dog. She loved them. But then my dog scrambles to eat dried out muffin wrappers and dog crap off the street. My attempts at finding a good no-bake protein bar using whey also didn’t turn out so well. The after taste of the whey just wasn’t hidden sufficiently in any of them.
I do use whey at least once a day, but I find it tasty only when done in oatmeal, in egg white & oatmeal pancakes, smoothies with yogurt and, if desperate, in water with crystal light or BSN Fruit Punch BCAAs.
All the tasty homemade protein bars I have made (more than once) have not included any whey protein. My favorite protein bar actually uses a base of oats, peanut butter, and honey.
No-whey no-bake energy/protein bars:
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup honey
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup almonds
1 cup chopped dried apricots
Warm honey and peanut butter in a pot. Only warm the honey and peanut butter enough to be able to blend the ingredients together. Mix in oats, almonds, and apricots. Spread mixture in a pan lined with wax paper. Refrigerate. Cut into small squares for serving. This is a very sweet recipe and very satisfying. A small square goes a long way.
I read a blog post the other day that had me thinking “Yup, that is me”. It was about sharing food and territorialism regarding food (you can read it here if you like).
I am not always super territorial about food. My level of territorial-ism varies with my mood and hunger levels. If I am cracking down trying to eat squeaky clean and increasing my exercise because last summer’s capris are a bit too tight (and I hate buying new clothes when I have perfectly good clothes in my drawers) I highly recommend you stay clear of my plate. Especially if we go out for dinner and I am allowing myself a flex meal and the plate in front of me contains the first apple crumble or brownie sundae I have seen in weeks. It is times like these that I want to strangle the person/people who say “hey lets share a dessert” and don’t even wait for my response before they say this to the waitress and send her away. The only thing that saves these people from a cave women clubbing over the back of the head is the lack of a club in my hand. What I really hate is the look I get when I say flat out that I am ordering my own dessert. I get either the “you are a bad fatty” look or “I thought you were into fitness & health. You must not be for real since you are eating dessert” look. What I hate even more is when someone puts these looks into words. Usually I just let it slide and concentrate on my bowl and how yummy it is and how that person can go suck it. But I have been trying to push back lately by pointing out “it is ok to enjoy dessert” or “there is nothing wrong with enjoying my food”.
I also become more territorial about my food when I have a had a bad day. This is when I want a big plate of starchy something and no you can’t have a bite. I then want some chocolate or ice cream and no you can’t have any of that either. Of course I often don’t have the chocolate or ice cream available in my home. I purposefully don’t buy it so it isn’t available for me to eat all the time. And the reality is once I buy it it just doesn’t last any significant amount of time anyway. This is also one reason why I can be so territorial about my food when we go out. We don’t go out very often. But when we do, I promise myself a dessert or at least some special fully loaded entree. By the time we get to an outing I have probably already been really looking forward to that dish for a long while. And it is mine. All mine. Sharing just does not cut it.
The author in the blog post also talks about her extreme food tracking using spreadsheets. My food tracking has never been that elaborate, but I have done calorie counting. I have followed the super tight meal plan with no room for anything tasty that is not on the list of approved foods. After a few weeks just about any calorie dense anything, dessert or not, was pure heaven. Buttered toast may have destroyed my calorie count but it tasted like a vacation on the beach with fluffy puppies as far as the eye could see. I am still surprised my partner lived past saying “I thought you weren’t suppose to eat that” to me. I must have given him a really scary look because he never opened his mouth about it again. I remember another time when I had an epically bad day (the kind of day that would make me go postal if it ever happened again) at the end of which I took out a box of x-mas chocolates that I had been carefully enjoying one or two at a time and put away the remaining 80% of the box in one sitting. Again my partner asked (very cautiously) “Don’t you want to save some for later?” I tightened my grip on the box and said “No not really” and kept eating. My guy had the good sense not to ask again and to not try to take any chocolates.
As a side note: one great advantage of sharing my home with my dog is I never have to share my chocolate with her.