Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Carb Monsta Whisperer in the Hizzoouuuse: an update to my last blog entry

I come to you today able to report gratefully that my food sobriety is strong, even after being challenged last week. What’s really both Murphy's Law-worthy and blog-worthy is that, just as I was trying so single-mindedly to shore up my food sobriety on Thursday and Friday after the organic Halloween candy binge of Wednesday, something happened through no choice of my own that undermined my efforts and challenged my biochemical balance/brain chemistry even more.

In retrospect, it wasn't the apocalypse, but at the time, I thought:  "Oh nooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOO way, that didn't happen!  That could be the sugary straw that breaks the carb monsta's peacefulness, and here I am doing my best to reassure him by making good choices!  Tell me this didn't happen!"  Well, it did really happen, but to my surprise and great relief, even it didn't break the carb monsta's peacefulness after all.  His peaceful state is a lot stronger and more resilient now than I realized before the events of last week.  I'm not the only one who has changed, whose epigenetic reset button has been pushed by the GenoType Diet, my little carb monsta has changed, too.  I'm a lot stronger in my biochemical balance and we're both a lot calmer and more resilient, and we've developed a mutual respect and healthy, more effective ways to communicate with each other, now that we've gotten to know each other.  Even an accidental two-pronged infusion of "naturally milled organic sugar" on top of the already-blogged-about Halloween candy binge didn't work my carb monsta into a lather, bless him.  What am I on about?  Try labels that look almost identical leading me unknowingly down a sugary path!

Here's what went down:  immediately after work on Thursday (the day after the previously-blogged about candy calamity), I rushed to the health food store and enthusiastically stocked up on fabulous food choices...or so I thought.  Turns out, though, that horror of horrors, I accidentally bought “French Vanilla” yogurt instead of plain, and I ended up making my homemade yogurt-feta salad dressing with that sugar-laden nightmare for two nights running (Thursday and Friday) before I clued in. By then, to my horror, I had already consumed all that additional sugar on top of my previously blogged about episode last Wednesday!  I mean, just as I was starting to relax and believe that I was going to be okay, food sobriety-wise, I got psyched out anew, big time, when I realized what I’d done and proceeded to scrutinize the label, which launched me directly to a horrified and re-scared state without passing “Go” and most assuredly without collecting 200 dollars.  It was now THREE totally atypical infusions of sugar, over three consecutive nights, instead of just one.  And the last two infusions, when I accidentally ate that yogurt, were cane sugar, baby!

In the entire history of my existence, I have never accidentally bought French Vanilla yogurt instead of plain!!! French Vanilla?  Oh, the humanity!  I was so preoccupied, apparently, with selecting the “cream on top” versus the “smoothy and creamy”, that I accidentally wandered into The Vanilla Zone without realizing it. They should have some sort of warning alarm go off! Anyway, so here I made this chi-laden, gorgeous salad for dinner on Thursday, with a mixture of greens, some black grapes, turkey, fresh basil, and what SHOULD have been a kicked-up, fabulous edition of my dressing, complete with organic oregano, garlic, a smidge of lime, olive oil, sea salt, etc., but when I tasted it, I thought: “Something is off—hmmm, I don’t think I like these grapes, I’m going back to the red ones, these black ones are so SWEET and also ODD tasting!” Well, the grapes were wrongly accused! It was the yogurt that was SO sweet, and the “organic natural vanilla flavor” that was, of course, totally out of place in a savory salad dressing and making the entire thing taste downright WEIRD—eeeew!  I didn't realize this until ingesting it AGAIN on Thursday, as both Wednesday and Thursday I had salad for dinner, only on Thursday, I had grape tomatoes in it instead of grapes, so the French Vanilla yogurt in the dressing really stood out clearly in an unpleasant way and there was nothing else even remotely sweet in the salad that could have been the culprit.  It was then that it hit me:  FRENCH VANILLA YOGURT!

Did you know that Stonyfield Farms Organic French Vanilla Yogurt contains a whopping 30 grams of sugar per cup? 30 grams! I was horrified to contemplate that I may have had about half a cup on both Thursday and Friday in my homemade dressing, so let’s estimate that I unwittingly consumed 15 grams of “naturally milled organic sugar” on both of those days, days in which I wanted my diet to be optimal so that I could counter the effects of my organic Halloween candy binge. What are the odds?

Now, I should stop and clear something up for the record right here, in case there are folks reading this who don’t know me from the Blood Type and GenoType Diet community and thus don’t know that I’m NOT—repeat, NOT—neurotic about my diet.*  I am strict on the few things I really need to be strict on (wheat and corn-syrup, to give the two prime examples), plus I also happen to be strict about not consuming any junk ingredients, but other than that, if I eat what we call an "avoid" food for my type here or there in the name of variety and joie de vivre, YAY, so be it.  I wanted to state that because I fear that some reading my last blog and then this one might think: hold on, first she freaks out about eating some organic, corn-syrup-free, all natural, wholesome candy and now she is flipping out anew over organic yogurt? Holy cow, this chick is beyond orthorexic (a pejorative word I hate, as some try to apply it to anyone who follows any diet, even if they happen to be following a healthy, wonderful, abundant diet for very good, healthy reasons...self-appointed "experts" trying to make healthy peeps feel like they have some sort of "disease" really irk me, and anyway if one tries to eat healthy, organic food in this junk-infused food supply, one HAS to seem a little neurotic, yet it is actually the mainstream food supply that is sick, not those of us trying to choose a healthy  alternative diet to it...but I digress, see a previous blog of mine called "My Diet is a Delight, not Deprivation: On Lightening Up and Living a Little for more on that)!  So let me say that NORMALLY, had I accidentally bought a yogurt laden to the gills (not that yogurt has gills, but you get my point) with sugar and consumed some of same for two nights running, I would not be thrilled about it, but I'd think, okay, so I'm out a few bucks for that yogurt, but no big.  While I don't typically eat foods with added sugar, I also don't think the occasional bit of pure sugar, in this case, organic, naturally milled sugar, is going to hurt me.  However, in the CONTEXT of me very atypically sugaring out already last week, and thus really needing to be as optimal as possible in my diet choices for the next few days following said sugaring out, in order to counter it and reinforce my food sobriety/biochemical balance, the fact that instead I bombarded my brain chemistry with yet more SUGAR really freaked me out, I must say.  This is because, as you know if you read my previous blog, I was already scared about getting thrown out of food sobriety, which is indeed an exquisitely delicate balancing act for me.  I was just calming down and realizing that I was okay, when I realized that I'd been unwittingly dosing myself with yet more sugar for two nights running.  Fear factor!

But you know what?  The learning experience/teachable moments just keep on a'comin', as that was last Thursday and Friday, here we are the following Wednesday and, apparently, I'm STILL okay!  The last thing I want to do, as it is very unhealthy for any "addict", is to get cocky and think, WOW, I can push the envelope and get away with it.  So that is NOT the take-home message.  But I am profoundly grateful, amazed and thrilled to learn from the events of last week that I am not only strong in my food sobriety, my state of biochemical balance, I'm stronger than I even realized, AND I'm way more resilient now than I was before having almost two years of doing the GenoType Diet under my belt.  I still have and know the importance of maintaining a healthy humbleness.  At the same time, though, I have a new confidence that I think is also healthy.  I am actually glad that the events of last week happened, as this experience has shown me evidence that I don't need to live with quite so much fear of getting thrown off track.  Homey don't fly off that track as easily as she used to, number one.  Number two, if she does go careening over the edge, she can get back.  Last week showed me that.  It was the first time I got really scared about my food sobriety, my biochemical balance, in almost two years.  The fear is a good thing, it helped me clearly know my priorities and focus on executing the good choices I now know how to make.  But it's also a very good thing to realize now that maybe I don't need to walk around with quite so much fear.  A little is good, but I'm beginning to jettison the rest and, in it's place, a beautiful, welcome new confidence is taking root.

Granted, had I ingested some really potent "avoid" trigger foods for me, such as GMO corn-syrup and/or wheat instead of organic evaporated cane juice, organic tapioca syrup and organic rice syrup (in the Yummy Earth candies), and organic naturally milled sugar (in the yogurt), I very well might have been thrown all the way out of my food sobriety and into the briar patch.  So, again, I'm staying humble, as all I can really conclude from last week is that, even with three straight evenings of consuming added sugars of the wholesome variety (but they are still added sugars and thus a challenge to my even-keel status, as opposed to the more-slowly absorbed natural sugars found in whole fruits and veggies, and the whole grains I eat such as brown basmati rice and the occasional fabu quinoa dish), my food sobriety stayed strong.  We don't know what would happen if I were to rip into a bag of potato chips, down some Doritos, or order me up a big sub sandwich on a wheat sub roll.  And, if I have anything to say about it, we won't ever find out.  What is more likely to happen, though, is that we all, despite our best efforts, will at various and sundry points in time ingest some HIDDEN avoids/reactive/trigger ingredients in food when we go out to eat, or we eat in other social situations, a.k.a., when we ourselves do not prepare our food and know exactly what goes into it.  When my family is in town each summer for a few weeks, I go through this angst, but even through the last two summer visits (during my two summers on the GenoType Diet), I've come sailing through absolutely fine.

I think that, barring me being locked in a fast food restaurant for a week and forced to eat nothing but junk food, I'm going to be okay!  My food sobriety now, to paraphrase a great line from one of my very favorite TV shows of all time, Seinfeld,"is real and it's spectacular!"

* As evidenced by the fact that I'm not even technically (or any other way) supposed to have feta or yogurt on my particular type's diet...yet I do routinely make this dressing which contains feta and plain yogurt...that's how I roll!