Getting sidetracked by food irony. Plus pictures.

Q. Hamburger
I started this 31 day sugar detox two weeks ago. Right away I decided I’d do best if I made it four weeks, instead, but otherwise, I followed the plan in the book I got, strictly. I did the three day super detox, then began on week one. After a few days, though, I noticed I was growing paranoid about food, what I was eating, when I was eating it, and I spent a great deal more time thinking about food than felt healthy. Eyeball
I read the book carefully, a few pages each day, going back over pertinent sections and thinking about them. I have spent most of my life studying nutrition in food in a casual but dedicated sense, and know enough to say it is a good plan, healthful and carefully constructed. But it took me awhile to realize the writers’ goal was more about weight loss and improved skin appearance than anything else. And while I wanted to lose ten pounds, my main personal concern was that I’d been trading healthful calories for unhealthful ones, by putting off eating until I was too hungry, then eating too much of foods I know will ultimately drag me down, just to not feel hungry. Threshhold
I started the plan hoping to reset that problem, by constructing daily eating habits that included too much of the right food to bother with the wrong food. Well, avoiding the wrong food has been pretty easy. But eating enough of the right foods has been as difficult as ever, more so because I could have no starch or grain at first. Scream
And at first that seemed appropriate. A lot of what’s in those foods converts to sugar in our bodies. But now after two weeks, I have no more energy or drive to eat better than I did before; that is, I have the drive to continue to battle the problem simply because I know I must, and am a grownup about that, but I have gained nearly no ground. I’d still rather not eat than worry about food groups all day. I’m also a little annoyed that people tend to (I know this from extensive reading since 1978) drop a lot of weight right at first when eliminating sugar, and I have not done so. The three pounds I’ve lost has been more from calorie deprivation than sugar elimination. That's no good at all. Frustrated
But those other people tend to be breaking daily sweetened coffee and diet soda habits. I rarely sweeten my one daily mug of coffee and almost never drink soda of any kind. Mostly all I did in that problem area was have too many cookies in the afternoon or evening. I thought that was huge, and for me it was, but apparently it’s nothing compared to what a lot of other people get up to.
I don’t sweeten my salad dressings, I rarely eat french fries or bagels or mac and cheese, etc. I already knew the delightful sweetness of cooked onion. And I miss oatmeal, which I can enjoy readily without adding sugar or syrup, though that’s nice, too. If you think about it, oatmeal can be your buttered toast, to enjoy with an egg or a little fruit. That is, the porridgey kind that is freshly milled or steel cut. Those flakes need a lot of outside help. Pleasesir
Anyway, this is a long-winded monologue to say that I was following the letter of that plan, but losing the intent of having started it. Mostly, I just need to consistently eat breakfast, choose healthier snacks, and eat a lot more servings of fruits and vegetables. The fruit part will be the bigger challenge. For some reason, I love having fruit around, but don’t really enjoy eating it. Except cherries. Maybe because they are like olives, but fruit. Same with late summer plums. I don't know. Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 9.24.56 AM
So I am continuing two more weeks of sugar detox, but I am going to skip ahead to the fourth week guidelines and do that for two weeks (minus a really irritating amount of red wine,) while working on my own daily eating plan that suits my tastes and needs better going forward. Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 11.39.46 AM
More than anything else, I’ve got to mother myself through each day so I get all I need with much less of what I don’t need. I’m super terrible at forming habits; it’s an aversion borne of growing up with a delightful but alcoholic father. I used to even feel anything you do as a ritual might not be good for you, because you’re maybe relying on it. But in my mellower mid-years, I have come to understand and embrace personal ritual a little bit, and I can embrace breakfast in the same way.

A. 60


About your social media medical degree...

I can't tolerate prescription pain reliever or strong anesthesia, but have never had the least trouble digesting any food. So when people say, "That item of food is bad for you, etc., you must never eat it," it really irks me.

When someone carries on about having been prescribed "the good drugs," which are absolutely bad for me, I do not tell that person not to take them because bad for me = bad for everyone. Wouldn't that be a very silly thing for me to do?


There are some people in this world with a serious illness caused by certain enzymes in foods. I take their needs and concerns very, very seriously. But I do not have time for anybody who says gluten turns to glue in your stomach, or tells me what I should eat because of an article they read in HuffPo three years ago.

As for my own concerns, I do not believe that red meat is bad for people in general, though I share the idea that we should eat it from as healthful a source as possible. For me, it will be best to mostly eliminate it from my diet, partly as a compensation for enjoying a little cream in my coffee, and partly because the best way for me to add in more of something I need is to subtract something else I don't need. And if I'm limited to 12-13 grams of saturated fat per day, I'd rather have it from dairy than meat. DSC_3520

I've never been a big meat eater. When I was a child, I could hardly bear ground meat, and I found the rest of it annoying to chew. As an adult, I prefer my beef tartare or tataki-style. It would be much more difficult to give up Genoa salami (which rarely has veal in it these days,) though I can easily live without ever eating another hamburger or cooked steak. I've been counseled by a paid professional to have no more than two servings of salami (or ham, etc.) per week, but I know what she really meant was, "if you must." So I'll think of it as a treat only. DSC_3688

A medication I am currently taking requires me to consider the sugar question much more carefully, and thus, alcohol, as well. I can retain my two cocktail a week habit only if I make sure to eat well and monitor my sugar usage. IMG_0002

I do not drink sweetened soda or tea, but will sweeten a morning mug of coffee unless I am having espresso and cream made by an expert. That's something to consider. And I have an exaggerated relationship with cookies (something like being perpetually 19 with a cute boyfriend with a motorcycle)


but I keep lightly sweetened biscotti around to enjoy occasionally when I make dessert for the boys, or am enjoying a long slow Sunday morning (see above.) I love steel-cut oats in the evening, but will learn to enjoy that with fruit instead of honey.

The point is, we have our own personal balances to maintain, and they are not subject to hashtag keyword seasonal facts in possession of a lofty notion collector. They are subject only to our own understanding of our own bodies, and information from our own medical tests and consultations.

tl;dr: Don’t assume an air of authority and/or make concrete pronouncements to an INTP, or to anyone else if that person is nearby, or how about just don't at all? myob.

PS: I'm not into the label thing most times, but never have I read such a complete and accurate description of my basic personality as at the site linked in the previous sentence. I don't know if people possessing the other types think they nailed it so completely for them, all sorts of variables in play, but if that sort of thing interests you, maybe take the test and see if it's so. And if you read through the INTP one or at least a lot of it, you will know me to a fairly scary degree.