Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


1 Comment

The Chocolate I Didn’t Really Miss and Everything in Moderation

Image

I ate some chocolate today.

Easter was always about the chocolate for me. Today was the first time since Dec 31, 2011 that I had chocolate. The best part about it though was that I didn’t totally binge on it. I had a few small Easter eggs and a couple marshmallow eggs and enjoyed them without the guilt or feeling like I was a failure. It was good, but I’m not hanging out for the next piece.

Today is also my birthday. There was no big party, no dinner out, no ice cream or chocolate birthday cake either.

I made my own dinner: salmon, sauteed carrots and cabbage and basmati rice. I even added a bit of butter to the rice and veggies. It was simple yet healthy and delicious.I really would not have wanted anything else.

My birthday cake was also made by me: lemon polenta cake with lemon syrup. Not quite the same as a double chocolate mousse cake or ice cream cake but it was still yummy.

Having some dairy today did nothing to my sinuses. I felt no ill health from the bit of dairy that I consumed. This, I’m very happy about!

Maybe 3 months on a strict, healthy diet is enough to set a new pattern. “Everything in moderation”. I used to hate that saying because I couldn’t achieve it.

Now, it is where I aim to be. In the past, it was not something that I was capable of; it was all or nothing for me. But now I feel that I am quite capable of having things in moderation but I guess time will time.

All in all, it was a great day. Happy Easter everyone! Eat chocolate and enjoy!

Image

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Confessions, Obsessions and Regressions

The view from my confessional window.

Well, I’ve finally cracked. I’ve been eating gluten-free  bread…..for nearly every meal over the past 3 days.

We all know that as of January 1, 2012 I’ve been back on my restricted diet. I have toyed with these kinds of “diets” and eating regimes since 2003 and have never been able to  last more than 4 months. If I dug into the vault, I would find food horror stories dating back to my early childhood but I’ll save that for another post.

I’ve been struggling to stay on this thing for about 2 weeks now. Easter chocolate stares me down every time I enter the supermarket, cakes taunt me at the cafe and ice cream calls to me in my sleep.

So far, I’ve stood my ground with these mental cravings but the bread got me.

Vogel's Gluten-Free Bread.

I was shopping and I just picked it up and put it in my basket. There was no contemplating, no stressing over it and no feelings of guilt.

Until I had eaten half the loaf.

I’m now on my second loaf and just loving the extra food choices I have. Toast (with peanut butter and/or jam) and sandwiches (cucumber, tomato, tuna, egg salad, chicken salad…yum) have never tasted so good.

Toasted cucumber and mayo sandwich.

I know what many of you may be thinking….What is wrong with eating some bread?? And the answer is: Nothing…but…..

Yeast is on my list of restricted items and you just cannot find yeast-free bread in the world…not the world that I live in anyway!! So, I do feel like a failure.

I was so determined to make it until my goal day of May 1, 2012 that I cannot help but to feel like I’ve failed myself in some minor way.

I’m currently reading Portia de Rossi’s book, Unbearable Lightness, which is about her unhealthy obsession with weight loss and  body image. Of course, she had an eating disorder. I do not.

I’m happy(ish) with my body and do not do this for weight loss. I do like the fact that I do lose weight when on it but I NEVER EVER count calories!!Even so, my hubby thinks I have some sort of eating disorder…..in a joking kind of way.

Yes, I restrict certain foods in the hope that it will correct my sinus issues. So far, it has not proven to be greatly effective unless I’m all the full-on anti-candida diet (which is extremely hard and grueling).

Even so, I feel more healthy overall. But I would love to find a happy medium to my food dilemmas.

Honestly, I’m scared that if I allow myself to eat pasta, cake,  chocolate or have a beer, I won’t be able to stop myself until my health gets so deflated that I’ll have to start this regime all over again. I’m also scared of not being able to go back to those foods with a clear conscious.

I know I’m not alone here. We have so many food choices today, many of which are unhealthy and health depleting,  that it is causing mental, physical and emotional problems; something I am aware of in myself.

I’m going on  holiday on May 1 and this thing will end then (?). I’m looking forward to eating and blogging about food and travel. I already have a lunch date booked in West Vancouver where I plan to order whatever takes my fancy!!

Gotta go…..my toast in burning!


2 Comments

What is restricted?

It’s day six and all is well. I skipped the past 2 days of “logging” for 2 reasons:

  1. On day 4, I simply forgot
  2. On day 5, I chose to watch a movie

So, it wasn’t at all because I ate something I shouldn’t have or anything like that!! Which reminds me, I didn’t even tell you what I am restricting!!! So here it is:

RESTRICTED FOODS/DRINKS

  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Yeast
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Red Meat
  • Pork
  • Sulphites

Along with this list, I am also “limiting” processed foods ( must read all labels) and sugar. People often ask me, “What DO you eat?”

Hence, this blog.

I want to show people that there are plenty of food choices available. Yes, you will have to work harder at making your meals and even pre-plan but the results are staggering. I already feel so much better. I have no feelings of deprivation or starvation. I even ate dinner at a restaurant tonight so let’s start with that and work backwards to breakfast.

Dinner

  • 3 chicken satay sticks (dairy-free)
  • White rice
  • Green salad
  • Water

This was a perfect wheat and dairy free meal. One you could make at home too.

Afternoon Snack

  • Banana and berry smoothie with LSA and rice milk
  • Decaf soy coffee

Lunch

  • Whole brown rice cakes with peanut butter
  • 8 fresh pea pods
  • 4 pieces of crystallised ginger
  • water

Morning Snack

  • 1 apricot
  • 1 nectarine
  • 1 plum
  • water

Breakfast

  • Plain Oatmeal with seeds
  • 1/2 cup fresh boysenberries (YUM)
  • Decaf coffee with rice milk

Breakfast was on the run as I slept in today. I had to work too and had no issues with energy and this diet. As you can see, I am eating plenty.

Physically: I feel great!! No issues, but I need to keep up my water intake. I struggle with this but I know it’s important.

Now, I going to have a spiced Rooibos tea with rice milk before bed. Life is good.


2 Comments

What are nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps are small grape-like sacks that grow in the sinus cavity. There is no confirmed cause and there is no cure.

Symptoms are similar to hay fever and the common cold. When the polyps multiply, breathing becomes laboured. Some people suffer from sleep apnea and even lose all sense of smell.

Because there is no cure, the symptoms are generally suppressed by steroidal nasal sprays and prescription medication. For severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

I developed nasal polyps in 1994 but was misdiagnosed for a year. More than a year after that, I had my first surgery.

From 1996-2007, I struggled with these pesty growths, and asthma, trying several different western and eastern medications and lifestyle changes but with little relief. By 2006, I lost my sense of smell and taste for good.

In 2008, I had my second surgery. Within two months, the polyps were re-growing and my ENT would remove them in his office. After ten months of bi-monthly visits, he gave me the all clear to yearly check-ups.

Yearly checks were a mistake because come my first one, I was full up with polyps again. Once again, surgery was recommended.

He also recommended that I try a restricted diet and that maybe candida was an issue. I must say, I never had a big problem with thrush or other common candida issues. But alas, I gave it a go.

My doctor’s version of this anti-candida diet was not very strict, although I did think so at the time. He did not even restrict fruit!! I have to restrain for all the other culprits: gluten, dairy, all fermented food and drink (esp. alcohol), SUGAR, caffeine, nuts, dried fruit…..the list seemingly goes on and on.

I did feel much better; no more bloat or constipation. I did sleep better but my polyps remained.

On & on it went, until I started to cheat. Then I went on holiday to Asia and damn the diet. All food was back on the menu and I started drinking beer again.  I was on again off again from July 2010 until August 2011.

Then on August 15, I had my third surgery.

After my third nasal surgery....attractive, eh?

A week after, I started a very strict anti-candida diet, this time add to the resticted list: all fruit, all starchy or sweet vegetables. I did well for two weeks and felt great. I was over the moon when my sense of smell returned four days into the regime. Then my life changed and kept changing throughout September.

When I reintroduced potatoes, the sweet vegetables and apples I felt ok. But within two weeks, I was stuffy and congested and miserable.

Misery loves to eat so I started having the occasional hot chocolate with rice milk, then I was craving lamington cake. I must report that I was going through a very tough emotional time: I had just had a major lifestyle change and a death in the family. I ate cake…..and I cried. And this went on for…..actually it’s still going on. A piece of mud cake is taunting me right now.

Sinful

On October 10, the local GP confirmed that indeed, the polyps are returning. So, true to my personality, I will go full force on all the naughties until I can convince myself to do another detox and restricted diet. At least I’m not drinking beer again. Too cold in NZ anyway!!!

Gotta go now. I have to murder a piece of cake.

Wanna read more about my journey? Check out my post on the I’m not fussy website :

http://www.imnotfussy.com.au/JenniferMorton.aspx


1 Comment

Eat to live or live to eat?

Welcome to kai chronicles!!

Kai is a common word and its meaning varies depending on your culture. I have connections to New Zealand and Japan and that is why I have chosen to call this blog kai chronicles.

According to Wikipedia:

In Māori, Kai means “food” (this one is absolutely true and used by many kiwis).

In Japanese, Kai may mean “change” or “the action to correct” or “concerning oneself with” (I will check this with Japanese mates). Notice how Wikipedia uses the word “may”.

So now I ask the age old question: Do you live to eat or eat to live?

I seem to be living to eat lately but I go through stages.

I have been attempting to be dairy, gluten, red meat, alcohol, fruit, sugar, yeast, caffeine,  fermented food FREE off and on for nearly 18 months now. Actually since 2005, I have experimented with many forms of food restrictions due to health issues.

It’s extremely hard to do but I have been successful, for short periods of time.

AND, the thing is this: When on the ‘restricted’ diet, I feel better!!! But after 4-6 weeks, I crack and cannot cope unless I eat a whole cake and once I do that, it’s all off until I have the will power to start all over again.

This I  know for sure: I’m an emotional eater.

My latest attempt, which was successful for 2 weeks then I introduced apples, potatoes and some other ‘sweet’ vegetables and all was well for anther 2 weeks before I started to cave, was smack in the middle of some emotional turbulance so it was probably not the best time to give it a go.

I am now enjoying most of the restrictions except: alcohol, dairy(except pro-biotic yogurt which is good for tummy health), caffeine and mostly staying away from yeast. If I crave a peanut butter sandwich, I’ll eat it.

I’ve been practicing ‘presence’ for nearly four years now. I rationalise my food intake with the NOW.

If this moment is all we have, I say, “EAT CAKE AND LOVE IT”.