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A Parting of the Dietary Ways with Mr. Greasyjoan

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mr. Greasyjoan and I have been cooking and eating together for 43 years. And he had gained 5 pounds since high school. Don't cry for him, Argentina. That's a net gain of about 2 ounces a year. I had gained about 125 since high school. He also has about 5 or more inches on me in height.

Last August we became vegetarians. Mr. Greasyjoan bloomed and loved it. He started becoming a real foodie and devised a lot of risotto and pasta recipes. He thrived and ate a lot and lost those 5 pounds that have been HAUNTING him--yes, I say HAUNTING him for so many decades.

Since then I have not lost weight. I have not gained weight. My blood sugar has gone up and my Hemoglobin A1C went up.

I had a revelation. Mr. Greasyjoan thrives on carbohydrates. They give him plenty of fuel and they don't inspire him to overeat. Me, not so much. I had to struggle with cravings every night. I had to struggle with elevated blood sugars.

So here's the new deal: Mr Greasyjoan and I will only share a part of our dining together. We can share some vegetable dishes. He can make all of the pasta and rice and taters he wants, but I ain't touching them.

I am seeking a low-carb plan. I am reading books. I have some ideas in mind--I want to be able to eat a lot of non-starchy vegetables and I want to be able to fit in about two fruit servings a day. I will not eat the kinds of carbs that will fill me up for an hour and then leave me devastatingly hungry. I'll try to eat as low on the food chain as I can. I do not envision myself slobbering over steaks with blood dripping down my chin but I am going to try an experiment in which low-carb eating becames my main theme.

If I cannot find a specific plan, I will make up my own plan. I do not want a plan that permits an occasional "celebration" dinner or "eat anything you like on Tuesdays" or "wallow in fried foods on friday". I am more of an all or nothing person when it comes to carbs. One taste can send me on a binge. I can totally abstain much more easily then have one bite.

Some scientists, doctors, nutritionists, and enthusiasts make vegetarian dining sound like the best choice ever--the be all and end all of eating. Another group is equally persuaded about the virtues of low carb. Perhaps they are all correct, but one size does not fit all.

As a diabetic, the only foods that make my blood sugar go up are carbs. Going low-carb has meant a lot of frequent changes and adjustments to my insulin. It's great to take less insulin but if I take too much the only cure seems to be to eat something glycemic. So I'm working at striking a balance. Less insulin in my system may also mean it will be a tad easier to lose weight!

So--I'm going low-carb and Mr. GreasyJoan will continue his vegetarian ways and is likely to enjoy the weight he had at age 13 at the rate he is going! It's not been easy but I realize how addictive carbs are.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Natalie, your blog is making me think about my food choices. I read in one nutrition book to never go under 130 g of carbs per day, and another nutrition book said never go under 300 grams of carbs per day.

    I , like you am tweaking my food plan and gaining personal experience. I am an experiment of one.
    3074 days ago
    Oh my dear lady,
    I feel your pain. Actually I live with and love him. LOL About 10 minutes after we started the South Beach Diet my dear husband dropped the 10 pounds that have been HAUNTING him. LOL I, on the other hand, lost 3 pounds in 10 days. I cannot eat pasta, rice and bread and lose much weight. So I am giving a low/moderate carb lifestyle another try. Sugar is no friend of mine and leads to cravings. I can't do cheat days either, it undoes any progress I have made. Good luck to you on your low carb journey. Hugs.
    3074 days ago
  • LISAMG1220
    Great blog! Thanks for sharing. I am a carb addict too! I really need to work on cutting out more. Thanks for the inspiration! :)
    3077 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13231517
    Thanks GJ - You are indeed a good read as well as an informative one.
    Lead on o oleaginous oracle!
    3078 days ago
    Great blog! I hope you can find a healthy balance to the carbs you limit.
    3078 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13425678
    You are a good writer! Thank you for making me chuckle. I agree with your thinking and am curious to see the results of your research!
    3078 days ago
  • OJ_2_OK
    I think this blog is important because it highlights what works for some does not work for all.
    3078 days ago
    Thanks for sharing!


    Smile and Enjoy the Rest of Your Day!
    Melinda (gopintos)
    Missourians Team
    Perfect Health Diet Team
    Country Living Team
    Dr Oz Show Fans Team
    Wheat Belly Team

    3078 days ago
    My husband and I frequently eat different things. We don't mind, and we both cook if we feel like it. I love fruits and vegetables and beans. I am gluten intolerant. He loves meat and potatoes (chips or fries, mostly) and bread. He never gains weight. I gain weight very easily. Life isn't fair sometimes. We all thrive with different diets. You can make it work.
    3078 days ago
    You made me laugh. Poor guy, 5 pounds. emoticon

    I think you've got the right idea for your own health. Best of luck in figuring out what works best for you!
    3079 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7930959
    You're so right about finding an individual approach! I've also been a bit like Libby and used myself as a guinea pig. All-or-nothing is also true of me - I find streaks are great - the superstition of not breaking them keeps me on track.

    I don't know if this will chime for you, but I have been focusing recently on health benefits rather than weight benefits. Eg an experiment with giving up caffeine showed I feel much more energetic, so I haven't wanted to go back. Ditto alcohol. More fruit has noticeably improved digestion - means I now want to eat it. Wholemeal everything means I feel less hungry, cutting bisuits also cuts sugar cravings. I had to ride out some of these things (eg caffeine withdrawal headaches), but the benefits were so worth it. Maybe this is slightly medicalising food, but I do think there's a strong relationship between what we eat and how we feel. Maybe of some help in thinking about your food choices?

    All the best for 2013 - it sounds like a great partnership! emoticon emoticon

    3079 days ago
    Love the food chart, looks like our low glyemic team way of living :)
    3079 days ago
    I was on two different medications for blood-glucose control - and today, I don't have to take any. They call it "diet controlled," tho I prefer the term "lifestyle controlled."

    Like you, I tend to be more an all-or-nothing kind of person, and while I will have a small slice of my own birthday cake, for the most part, I have a routine / diet that works for me and I stick with it.

    For what it's worth, what you said about devising your own plan is probably the best idea - I have done a lot of trial-and-error experiments with myself as guinea pig (!) and bit by bit, I've learned which carbs I can, and which carbs I can't.

    Two caveats that do seem applicable to most Type 2s:

    1) if it's a white food (this includes bananas, white potatoes, etc.) it's generally best left alone;

    2) try to make sure to combine protein with carbs - your body of course needs protein, carbs, and even some fats, for health, but for some reason, eating carbs with even a bit of protein helps reduce "spikes."

    When it comes to pasta, I do wholewheat, and sparingly even then. Rice is only brown rice, and only on occasion. Himself loves his curries and chili and so on - his is sometimes over rice, pasta, or white potatoes; mine is over cauliflower (now see, there's a white food that proves the exception to the rule, lol).

    Re vegetarianism: it's doable. I myself am more of a "flexitarian," but that's because now and then I get hungry for some chicken or a small hamburger, and I have salmon twice a week, haddock once a week or so, tuna now and then - and I just won't give up eggs or cheese, at least not totally.

    Nobody proselytizes like the reborn, lol...
    3079 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/12/2013 6:23:09 AM
  • -POOKIE-
    Eating lower carbs is great!

    Last night we had a delicious sauce we got as a christmas present (food from Harvey Nichols!) I had mine over, well was meant to be zucchini, but the delivery box had to be changed, and my fiance had his over pasta.
    3079 days ago
  • GLC2009
    great blog. emoticon i think you might find it very helpful to quit eating wheat. i find that a very focused and easy (hard but easy) goal, and wheat is proving to be the devil for alot of people. that, of course, leads into low carb, so, yeah, the goal--low carb. some of us need this and it works very well in health and weight.
    i really liked your blog................i say again.
    3079 days ago
    Good luck with your new eating plan - it sounds like it will be very good for you. I agree that some people get on better with carbs and some better with a low carb diet, and some people are happy just going low calorie. We are all different.
    3079 days ago
    Great blog, and as everyonr e else has said one diet does not fit everyone's needs... my honey seems able to survive on the most awful junk food around and I only have to look at it band on go the pounds, so I am always having to plan to very different types of meals, younger used to it. I also agree I'm an all or nothing type person too. I can't just have one and leave it at that so I don't go anywhere near the junk

    3079 days ago
    I am a carb addict! My dream meal is carbs on carbs - at the Indian market in Johannesburg they sell toasted masala fries sandwiches. All that oil, spice and carbohydrates tempt me more than any dessert or sweet. Yum. I am also vegetarian. Have been for years after slowly going off meat. And I have been fat as a vegetarian and thin. Was thin until I had a child then ten years of slowly getting fatter. Now I am at a healthy weight again but trying to lose another 5-10 lbs .... I do still have carbs and have lost weight - but only brown rice, whole grain bread etc. And I get through my cravings by allowing myself that toasted fries sandwich once a month.
    But we are all very different as you say. You might enjoy reading some of the online columns etc about and/or by Tim Noakes - a South AFrican sports medicine scientist. He has stirred up a lot of controversy by retracting all his advice to runners on carbo-loading and saying that he has found he is a carb addict and personally needs a very low carb/high fat diet to be healthy. He has stated that it is a very individual thing and documented how changing helped him (in his running, in losing weight and with his control of diabetes)
    3079 days ago
    Do keep us posted! emoticon
    3079 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4274730
    Funny blog :) love the kitty in the background!
    3079 days ago
  • POPSY190
    Great blog. I tend to adjust meals so that both my husband and myself get what we need and can cope with.
    I've found Dr Fuhrman's Eat to Live works for me if I follow his general principles with adjustments for my own circumstances. Lots of vegetables,fruit, nuts and seeds are the basics but I don't follow the strictly vegan approach. There's a team on here and his website is worth a look. One of the things I like about it is that, although he obviously runs a commercial operation, his food plan can be followed without any special foods of his which must be purchased, and his claims are all supported by clearly documented studies.
    3079 days ago
    You are so right-there is not one right way to eat, since we are all individuals and all have different makeups and reactions to food. I can always feel my blood pressure rise when I hear people castigating others for not eating a certain way (vegetarianism, veganism, paleo, low-carb, insert your favorite diet type here) since it is *the best and only way to eat*. Best and only for those people, perhaps, but not everyone.

    I think you will find the way that works best for you. You are going about it in the right way-giving careful consideration to what will work best for you, and will play to your strengths. You are doing a great job so far, and I think that will continue.
    3079 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6759737
    Good luck trying to find a plan that works for you. I'm a bit different - I have to allow for those special things, or I will cave. I've noticed my weight loss is pretty stationary without exercise, so I focus on that more.
    3079 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11712373
    You are funny! Lol. Good luck with your eating plan. I'll be trying to stay away from high fructose corn syrup and midnight munchies. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3079 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/11/2013 7:57:40 PM
    I like your willingness to experiment with different approaches to create your own... we are all wonderfully unique, and it makes a whole lot of sense!...

    Good luck on your journey to a better you!

    Kathy emoticon
    P.S. Pretty kitty wallpaper! lol
    3079 days ago
    I have issues with carbs, too. But even on a paleo diet I was having some difficulty. So I tried JJ Virgin. You eliminate 7 foods for three weeks then attempt to return 4 of them (not sugar, for example) back - one at a time. I discovered that I have an issue with eggs. Darn! They were one of my staples. After a few more months I can try to reintroduce them, hopefully with more success.
    This has helped my weight loss efforts.
    Good luck finding the program that works for you!
    3079 days ago
    I am so much like you it's not even funny. Read Dr. Davis' book Wheat Belly. It's a very good place to start a journey to low carb eating and to no longer being diabetic. Truly. If you find you can do low carb you will cure your diabetes. I know because I have done it. Then read Gary Taubes books, then start reading Mark Sisson's blog, Mark's Daily Apple. Then start listening to Jimmy Moore's podcasts (there are nearly 500 of them last time I looked) "Livin' La Vida Low Carb". We've been doing intense research and reading for almost a year now and those are the best resources I've found. And read my blogs if you have time because I've written quite a bit about the experience and success my husband and I have had during the past year of low carbing. I will NEVER go back. I got my life back, I got a normal body back (I'm down 55 lbs this year--still have about 50 to go) have more energy, stamina, positivity, than I can ever remember having as an adult. I'm 62. I just can't overstate the benefits I have enjoyed and I believe you will enjoy, too, eating a low carb diet. It's harder to do if you're vegetarian, for sure, but still possible. I hope you'll feel free to use me as a source if you have questions or feel you need direction. The Wheat Belly team here on SP is a great low carb group. I'm really excited for you, Natalie.
    3079 days ago
    My M.D. offered me a vegetarian diet or low carb and I chose low carb. I knew the first would not work. He likes it because he is on it for cultural and religious reasons. To me the best are South Beach, Primal, and Paleo.
    3079 days ago
    You are certainly on the right track for yourself.....one size fits all - doesn't exist!!

    I hope you hit on the perfect combo diet for you....... and the Mr. stays with his vegetarianism that he loves so much!

    Good luck! and thanks for sharing. I enjoyed your blog very much.....

    emoticon emoticon

    3079 days ago
    You are writing some marvelous blogs lately! I haven't commented (because for some reason I feel nonverbal, maybe because I'm editing all my Rome photos and listening to Billie Holliday) but I have read them all with great interest and enjoyment.
    Good for Mr. Greasyjoan but he just doesn't understand...
    And you have to do what you have to do!
    Your Scotland blog was emoticon
    I have no doubt that you will prevail and ultimately triumph.
    3079 days ago
    What a cool blog. Thanks for sharing it.
    3079 days ago
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