Binge Eating … For Real

Binge eating is a disorder that people don’t realize is a problem.

– Demi Lovato

I told myself, and you, that I would be raw and real about my journey. I promised to give insight into the battle of emotional eating, so buckle up buttercup … because it is about to get really REAL in here.

Last Friday night, something happened that triggered my emotional eating. I am not going to share the details of the incident but it really hurt me on a deep emotional level. I haven’t had a binge or emotional eating episode for over six months, so I am probably being extra hard on myself which is making it even HARDER to break the binge. Saturday, even after saying things were better … they weren’t. I was left with this hole in my soul. I felt unloveable, unwanted, easy to throw away. I felt like the world didn’t need me and my partner didn’t want me. I was hurt, confused and lost in an overwhelming bubble of pain. It only took one small incident, one minute to break that emotional nut wide open. This isn’t about him by the way, it is about me, my reaction to stressful moments and he is not to blame for my spiral down the dark binge path or how I FEEL.

The next day I slept, a lot. I didn’t get out of bed until 2 pm, and when I did wake up the hole was there screaming at me to fill it. Apologies were made, heartfelt real apologies but that didn’t fix it. The damage was done, the wound opened up and the need to feed it all too real. I couldn’t wait for 5 pm to come, for my love to go to work because then I could rush to the store and get what I need. The sad thing is, when you are on a binge you can’t just go to one store, you have to go several to get your supplies… judging eyes are everywhere and I don’t need to feel more ashamed.

My need to binge is strong, too strong. I am really struggling to get past it but I have promised myself, no more trips to the store. I just need to get past this last little hump (that is what I tell myself). The thing about binging that is really hard to beat is the shame. I feel so ashamed and weak and angry with myself that I let the emotions win. I have cried a lot of tears and done a ton of hateful self-talk the last few days. I think the worst part is hiding it all. Keeping it stashed in my car, shoved under my bed, tucked into my dresser drawers for those moments I can hide and shove it all in my face.

Sadly, the rush of feel-good emotions while gorging on sugary sweet treats quickly fades and suddenly you find yourself looking for the next moment you can sneak off and indulge. I am not actually chewing my pain away, I am just causing new and different pain. I am feeling the effects of my binge physically. I am bloated, heavier cuz let’s face it you can’t pig out and not gain weight, lethargic, moody and above all else saddened by my weakness.

I cannot explain the urge, other than to say it is certainly an addiction. There is an all-encompassing need to eat, not sure what … so I get a little of everything. Pretty soon that little bit of everything is a lot. I am in a bad place right now but I know I will pull through. Tomorrow is a new day, and now that I have shared this downfall, it encourages me to share with you my triumph of getting past it.

If you wanted to know what binge eating looks like, here you go.

To Dairy or NOT to Dairy … was the question.

Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel.

– Kevin Trudeau

One of the hardest changes to our diet was the loss of dairy. I thought for sure it would be the bread or the sugars or the fact that the kitchen is my second home now. But, NO … it was the dairy. You ever try to eat tacos without cheese or sour cream (if you love those things) it isn’t easy!

The biggest thing I have learned on this new venture is the way food makes my body feel. When we cut out processed sugars, gluten and dairy the body really changes. I am fat, very fat and have been most of my life. YAY for food addiction and no portion control. I have a lot of ailments you would expect; easily out of breath, lower stamina, pain, soooo much pain. My feet hurt, my back hurts, my knees hurt, my fingers throb .. even my elbows ache. When sleeping my hips hurt so much I woke up often to reposition myself. Suddenly, one day, I didn’t hurt.

We went off the wagon for most of December. Between friends gifting us home-baked goods, our annual trip to Reno for 3 days of fun with our gang and all the traditional holiday foods, we conceded to the non-paleo life. This was our first holiday season in this lifestyle and I am going to admit I wasn’t strong enough to endure the pressure of bad foods. Now, when I say bad I don’t mean bad tasting, heavens no … I mean bad for the body. Christmas passed and the new year began, as did getting back on diet.

I came across an article via Facebook on the many types of Paleo and I was beyond excited to find “Primal” was a thing. This new to us version includes dairy (cheers). Primal means we can have full-fat grass-fed dairy, white potatoes, occasionally white rice and a whole bunch of approved booze’s. Traditional paleo you can’t have any of those things and only Wine.

I cannot express to you how deeply sad I was when I realized just how badly dairy made me feel. I knew it would slow the weight loss because of the calories but I didn’t realize dairy was inflammatory. We have a few more meals on the menu that have dairy which we will finish off because I already purchased the ingredients, but once they are gone we will say our goodbye’s. No more dairy for us.

What does no more dairy mean exactly? I will still use grass-fed butter, butter is life. Ghee is ok at best, butter is far superior in taste. I have found some great cheese substitutes and no I do not mean soy vegan products. Soy is a legume and therefore not allowed. They make almond and cashew milk-based cheese products. They DO NOT taste the same or melt the same but they do taste good. We can also have goat cheese! They make almond and cashew yogurts while finding ones that are sweetened with honey instead of cane sugar is hard, it isn’t impossible. Then, of course, there is Cashew/Almond/Coconut milk and creams, I find the cashew to be the closest to traditional dairy in taste and texture.

The bottom line is, as much as I LOVE dairy and miss it … I love the way my body feels without it more. Listening to the body is a great way to live. If you suffer from chronic fatigue or aches and pains … constant congestion or have autoimmune/thyroid disorders, I highly suggest you look into changing your diet. I am not brainwashed or on some humdrum diet kick, I am speaking from experience. Transitioning is hard and I also highly suggest cutting things out one category at a time as you finish off your pantry products etc. I imagine my initial start last year would have been smoother if I had tapered off rather than cut it all out immediately.

Creamed Spinach and Tomato Chicken & Bacon Sauteed Brussels

Creamed Spinach and Tomato Chicken:

  • 6 boneless/skinless chicken thighs.
  • 1&1/2 cups fresh spinach roughly chopped.
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock (I used vegetable)
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (I used coconut cream for a richer sauce)
  • 2 tbs of ghee, butter or oil of choice.
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

1.) Melt cooking fat of choice in a skillet over medium-high heat.

2.) Season the chicken to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.Brown the chicken thighs on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side, and set aside.

3.) Add the garlic, onion, and tomatoes to the skillet and cook 2 to 3 minutes.

4.) Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a light boil, then simmer 4 to 5 minutes.

5.) Add the spinach and chicken to the pan.

6.) Pour in the coconut milk and simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

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Bacon Sauteed Brussels:

  • 1 pound Brussels washed and halved
  • 4 strips of bacon (peppered is better)
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1&1/2 tbs of ghee (I used grass-fed butter)
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

1.) Place the bacon in a warm skillet over medium-high heat. Fry until nicely crisp Set aside, let it cool and then roughly chop the bacon. (I chopped my back before cooking.)

2.) Drain most of the bacon fat from the pan (leaving a tbs in the pan) Melt ghee in the same skillet and add the garlic and onion. Cook until soft 1 to 2 minutes, then add halved Brussels sprouts.

3.) Stir everything while cooking until Brussels sprouts are nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Season the sprouts to taste, add bacon back to skillet, and give everything a nice stir. Cook another minute or two then serve.

I hope you try these yummy good things and enjoy them! Please share your food experiences and how you notice certain foods affect you!

Let’s talk about Chocolate

I try to get through emotional pain, not go around it. It always ends sooner that way, I also use chocolate.

-Christina Perri

Yesterday was my Mom’s birthday, always a hard day for me. It is always painful when I realize I have lived more than twice the life without her than I had with her. My love for her is just as strong, my NEED for her just as powerful and my grief for her .. just as deep as when she was taken from me (us), I do have siblings!

This may come as a surprise, I don’t really care all that much about Chocolate. I prefer more fruity, sour, and chewy forms of candy. Yesterday though, with all the heartache I was feeling, chocolate was on the brain. I craved chocolate cake, chocolate ice-cream, chocolate bars, chocolate cookies … pudding even. I made it through my day mostly chocolate free, I did have a few pieces of Dark chocolate that are mixed into a sweet treat I allow myself to indulge in. Dark chocolate (70% or better) is allowed in small quantities on Paleo … the darker the better.

Did you know chocolate can decrease pain, more specifically emotional pain! When we eat chocolate the brain releases endorphins and serotonin. We get a short-lived “high” that just makes all those emotional pains a little less, so no surprise I had chocolate on the brain yesterday. Next time you are having a rough emotional moment and need chocolate, I recommend going for it, with moderation of course.

I am going to share with you a couple of the things I allow myself to indulge in. One is a coconut, almond medley. It has unsweetened dried coconut flakes, lightly salted roasted almonds and very small dark chocolate chunks. A handful or two of this snack mix is just the right amount of sweet to satisfy my craving most days. Second is a Chocolate Chip “Fat bomb”. Fat bombs are very popular amongst the Keto crowd, since we are trying out the Primal diet, I decided to give these a go. Fat bombs not only hit the sweet tooth but also are an easy way of meeting those daily healthy fat intake requirements.

Chocolate-Chip Fat Bombs

Chocolate-chip Fat Bomb:

  • 8 oz. of softened cream cheese (Primal requires this to be pasture-raised dairy – hard to find but not impossible.)
  • 1 stick of softened grass-fed butter
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup sweetener of choice (swerve, monk fruit, erythritol, or Chicory root) – these are all paleo and keto compliant.
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 oz. of 70% or better choc chips (I used Enjoy Life brand)

Cream everything together in your mixer, refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up then scoop onto parchment lined sheet pan and freeze for at least 30 minutes. Store in zip-locks or Tupperware container in the freezer until it is time to indulge.

I tend to use these as an evening treat, we get two each and it really hits the sweet spot with just enough goodness. I highly recommend these!

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Food is Medicine

The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.

– Ann Wigmore

As a food addict and emotional eater, I can attest to this statement. The junk food I would binge on was my medicine. It healed my heart, it healed my tears, every sugary or cheesy or grease filled bite was mending me … but also killing me. I didn’t have diabetes or high cholesterol, apparently, I have good genes but I was still obese (still am). That alone puts me at higher risk of developing those issues and others. I have lost 50 pounds since changing our eating habits but that is just a drop in the bucket … I need to lose at least 200 pounds more. I will, in time.

Switching to healthier eating is hard at first, the cravings get stronger before they get better. Once you make it through the first couple weeks and come out the other side the first thing you notice is energy. Weird that when we cut out all the processed sugar how much better the body feels. I have more energy, I have better mood stability and I have far less body aches and pains. I sleep better, not just longer periods of time but deeper more restful sleep. The dark circles under my eyes disappeared, my skin tone became brighter, my joints hurt less.

I drink lots of water, I still have my coffee and tea … but I don’t drink much juice, can’t have any of the typical energy drinks and of course, can’t drink soda. I have a great friend, Erica, who lives the keto lifestyle and she introduced me to a fabulous product she sales. I started adding one of the drink mixes to my daily routine, they are high caffeine and help me get that extra boost in energy but also they put you into ketosis (even if you aren’t keto) for a few hours which helps burn some extra fat.

I try really hard to eat a healthy and balanced diet every day, which helps keeps those cravings low. I will try my best to include at least one recipe with each blog … so here today’s yummy choices.

Maple-Balsamic Salmon and Keto Zucchini Fries.

Maple – Balsalmic Salmon:

  • 4 – 6oz. salmon fillets
  • 2 Tbs Chives
  • 2 TBS fresh mined Dill
  • 2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Heat cooking fat of choice (I used grass fed butter) over med-high heat.

Salt and pepper the fillets and set in pan skin side down. Cook for 2-3 minutes with the lid off, then lower heat to medium and pop the lid on for 5-6 minutes.

Add the maple syrup and vinegar to the pan, continually baste over the fillets for the last 3 minutes of cooking.

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Keto Zucchini Fries:

  • 2 zucchinis (I use zucchini and summer squash).
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used full-fat grass fed.)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 tsp paprika
  • 1/3 tsp oregano
  • 1/3 tsp garlic powder
  • sea salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut each Zucchini into 16 – sticks

Beat the eggs in a bowl … (I used a zip-lock for easier coating.)

In another bowl mix the flour and seasonings (I used a zip-lock for this as well.)

Dip zucchini in the egg batter then the flour mixture. Lay flat on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes.

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I hope you give one or both of these recipe’s a try … also if you want to know more about keystones head over to Erica’s website and give it a look, you won’t be disappointed in the results.

The Journey Begins

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Things are going to get real and raw up in here. I am not only sharing my recipe’s but also my heart; the emotions and feelings associated with food. I will open up about my love/hate relationship with not only food but MY trauma and emotional scars that have created this relationship.

If you know me on a personal level, you may learn things… both painful and cheerful that you didn’t know before. I intend this site to be an open book; not just to share my pain but the healing too. Facing our demons is the only way to conquer them and Food is one of my biggest. I will share with you the real pain behind the addiction, the struggle I face DAILY in my food choices and my journey to making a healthier me.

I’m switching from “Normal Paleo” to “Primal Paleo” and the basics of those are the same but I get a few extra goodies going Primal … like yogurt, cheese and more booze! My new journey begins tomorrow, my menu for the week is planned and the shopping shall commence!

My hopes for you in this process??

  • You find some Recipe’s to try for yourself.
  • You discuss your own struggles with food addiction or emotional eating.
  • You come back to learn more about an awesome food lifestyle.
  • We become closer as we learn more about one another.
  • You are able to encourage others on their food journey.
  • You visit often and help keep me accountable!