November 21, 2011

Why I'm not "cheating" for the holidays

It's that time of year... when the focus of our entire civilization turns to eating. Which always seems to lead to the same old New Year's Resolution to "eat right and lose weight!" Which, of course, occurs after the holidays.

Time to reset our biological clocks
None of this is necessarily bad. Festive occasions involve feasting, especially at harvest time, especially when we are facing a shorter day and a longer night. These biological cues seem to trigger a hungry response.

I plan to eat and drink and be merry!

It's my choices that are different from what they used to be.

This year, it's just the two of us, so it's shrimp cocktail, turkey breast, Waldorf salad, roasted sweet potato, and a pumpkin cheesecake. I'll have a couple of rum cocktails. All adjusted to use lower carb principles as needed, such as non-sugar sweeteners, actual butter, and full fat mayonnaise.

Fine for me, cooking in my own home... what about going to Grandma's? What about that famous Jello salad/special pie/homemade biscuits?

That depends. If we are able to have a few bites of our favorites as part of the meal and then get right back to eating low carb the next meal; no harm done. But if we plan to "eat like a normal person" we should at least understand the dimensions of the pit that yawns before us.

There will be bodily reactions. The true dimensions of what is considered "normal eating" becomes clear when we don't eat that way... then attempt to return. Eating wheat sparked reactions so subtle it took me years to notice them; a bloated tummy and my aching hands were actually wheat reactions, not normal digestion and aging.

Now, accidentally getting some wheat results in Stomach Lining Blowtorch Syndrome, which is very unpleasant. This is only the start of how rotten I feel for the next 24 hours. I can't look forward to biscuits and pie crust; they are literally off the table.

Even if you don't have a specific gluten reaction (and how would you know? Recent research indicates that as much as 1/3 of the population are like me and don't know it) the effects on the body of "lotsa carbs" is some form of digestive upset. People living with indigestion have become so common it's not even remarked upon; the drug store aisle keeps getting restocked and everyone thinks it's "normal." But how can that be?

We might have thought the "carb coma" and bloated feelings are standard holiday experiences, but when we add in extra urping and belching and tooting; it's not very festive.

When we live in the background noise of constant digestive rebellions, we don't realize how much of what we eat signals distress to us. Eating low carb, eating more "primally" lets us know that so much of what we have trouble eating is on purpose.

The body is signaling that "normal" isn't good for us.

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