Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Biscuit without Biscuits: Full Carnivore Paleo Adventure Part 4

So, we're into week 3 of the great Paleo Adventure. After some deep self-reflection and a number of emails with the nutritionist after the aforementioned trip to Whole Foods, I decided to officially reintroduce some responsibly and humanely raised meats back into my diet for the remainder of the month. Depending on my results and my body's reaction, I'll decide at that point if I want to go back to a fish-only pescatarian lifestyle (and if I want to reunited with my best friends, baguette and cheese).

The decision has been wrought with intense anxiety, which I think can best be described to you, my 12 loyal readers, through the medium of mediocre PowerPoint art. See Exhibit A - Meal Format:

Something I didn't realize about my vegetarian life: basically every meal was like a bowl of soup. Take, for example, a salad. Before the Great Paleo Experiment of 2012 (GPE2012), let's let: 
A = Lettuce
B = Beans
C = Carrots
D = Tofu

See how that salad is just like a big bowl of alphabet soup?  I could indiscriminately shove food into my mouth without worrying that I'd finish one component of the meal too soon. My parents taught me to be a strict saver - I distinctly remember my dad's J. Walter Weatherman style lesson about delayed gratification like it was yesterday (it involved a hideous tennis skirt I REALLY, REALLY wanted). So, the vegetarian meal format suited me in that almost every one of my staple meals was a chopped-salad style every flavor in every bite type of meal. Think about it: this works for tacos, scrambles, stir-frys, sandwiches, soups, salads, and casseroles.

Eating the main - side - side format of meal so common to having a main protein is a whole new world of food induced anxiety for me. Speaking of, I have no idea why I suffer from food anxiety. My mom made sure I was NEVER hungry. I think it's my strong survival instincts kicking in. See Exhibit B - Food Anxiety:

Let's let:
A = Chicken-Apple Sausage
B = Kale Salad
C = Kabocha Squash

This is an actual meal I over analyzed. I made my plate, and was immediately overcome by the anxiety that if I finished my sausage too soon, I'd get bored with just eating my kale salad. How should I sequence my bites, and how big should they be, so that I would meet or exceed my expected pleasure from the meal? I mean, I roasted that damn squash for like, a full hour. That's an investment.

On top of that, I felt guilty about the poor little baby animal I was eating. And what about the giant manure lake that was just sitting in Central California somewhere, poisoning lower income residents and generally killing an entire ecosystem? So what that the animal wasn't a baby (as BF reminded me), and I had purchased the humanely raised, insanely expensive sausage from the local sausage-monger? Is that a thing, like cheese monger? Should be. I am still insanely anxious about every meal I eat. Actually, this could have been a really long entry into the Normal or Not Normal game. My guess is Not Normal.

So, that's the update on my mental state at this moment. I used to giggle at my BF, who carefully assembles each bite on his fork so that he maximizes the flavor of each bite, while I just threw food in the general direction of my face. I suppose he was doing it right the whole time.

And I guess that's the point of changing the way I eat - so that I'm more conscientious of what I'm putting in my face (that's what she said) and take the time to be aware of my own eating habits. I would update you on any gains or losses, but the batteries in my scale are dead, so until I replace those, I'll have to go on "feel" for my results. I feel less bloated and a little bit smaller, but I really can't be sure that I'm not imagining it.

Back to over-thinking my next meal.