Emotional Eating and The Straight P*** on Zero Carb

Welcome to my fourth blog post! DJFoodie.com seems to be growing and picking up steam. Welcome all new members!

The ZC Vortex

When last I posted …

I was on a zero carb diet, consisting of meat, with meat, topped with meat, and smatterings of eggs and dairy. It’s a lot of meat! The goal is to lose 30 lbs. Actually … the goal is to lose 29 lbs! When I started this new way of eating, I weighed 218 lbs. In the 13 days since I’ve started zero carb, I’ve dropped 4 lbs. That’s really pretty amazing; when you consider that I’m relatively close to goal!

If you’d like to see what I’ve been eating for the past 2 weeks, you can click here: Text file with daily meals.

Sorry if it’s not a full picture of what I’ve been eating. They’re really just my notes, but they should give you a good sense of what I’ve been up to. Essentially … it’s been a meat fiesta!

Here are some photos of the food I made (and quickly ate!) this week. Recipes will follow in about a month, but … this should give you something to look forward to!

Italian Chicken Sausage Patties

Mini Ham, Swiss and Rosemary Frittatas

Pork Scaloppini with a Bacon Caper Jus

Ok … conflict time!

Here’s where this blog post might come to a screeching halt. I’m experiencing a bit of a conflict and am not sure where to go with it. In trying to find my blog voice, I have to make decisions about what to share, what not to share, what’s interesting, what’s useful, what’s helpful, etc. Something keeps ringing through my ears that a friend said, when he read my first post about being sick and dying. He said something to the effect of, “Be careful not to use your blog as a confessional”. This makes a lot of sense to me, but at the same time I want to be honest and put out information that people can connect with, even if it’s only to relate.

My first priority for this site is good food (even GREAT food, on occasion!). I’m not a psychologist, nutritionist, dietician or doctor. I’m a computer-geek-dinosaur/foodie. Anything outside cooking techniques (or old-school HyperTextMarkupLanguage) is purely my opinion and probably won’t make any sense. However, there will be occasional departures, because my second priority is to help people and inspire them to stick with it, learn and do better, even if it’s not perfect …

So … here goes …

I’ve been struggling with some personal nonsense for about a month. It’s not really important what it is, but it’s enough of a drain on me that I haven’t been sleeping well and am endlessly distracted. My mind is tied up in my woes and … yuck. Just … yuck.

When this all started, I didn’t handle it well. I ate a lot of homemade cookies. Then, I continued to pig out for a few more days. Temporarily comforting, yes, but … I gained several pounds and felt like absolute dreck. Thankfully, I’ve managed to reel that in.

As this personal drama has been unfolding, I’ve also been blogging and yoga-ing and zero carb-ing and cooking and taking pictures, but my drama continues to escalate and I’m beginning to struggle and drag. I’ve stopped yoga-ing, my cooking is passionless and I’ve become an insomniac zombie. Yuck.

Here’s the part that is relevant to my blog … I’ve stayed on track! I made a firm commitment to zero carb and to drop the weight … no matter what. I’m grinning and bearing it. Yuck … yuck. Double yuck.

Thoughts on emotional eating and how to stay on track …

Something came to mind, as I was moping, lamenting and wondering whether I should mention any of this and … had a minor light bulb moment. MY BLOG! Journaling!

I am certain that I would be knee deep in pizza sauce and burrito grease, if it weren’t for this blog. This blog is now my hall monitor. I’ve made promises to the world, and I must uphold my end of the deal. 2 ½ years ago, I was having a bad day (the WORST day!), and I sat down and wrote and wrote. That day was the day that turned everything around for me. Perhaps journaling or writing is a good way to cope? Committing those words to paper seems to cement things more than just looping them in the mind. My point here is that when life is throwing you lemons … write about them (or, make sugar-free lemonade, but … that’s an entirely different topic)! I can’t help but think that this has helped me a great deal.

Deep breathing … ? Yep! That’s a good one! Take 3 deep breaths. Do it. It helps get a quick boost of oxygen to your brain.

“… and this too, shall pass …” In moments of strife, this short little phrase has helped get me through … through a bad day, through an intense craving, through a difficult workout, through that weird odor that floats around the local phone company, etc. It’s helped me get through.

Salami and Water … ? Yep! That’s another good one. This has been a lifesaver, many times. Rather than hitting the speed dial for Domino’s Pizza, I’ve often raided the fridge and had some salami and a giant mug of water. This has served me well in times of crisis! It seems to temporarily fill that void and moves me to the next moment, where … hopefully I’ll get sucked into an old Doogie Howser rerun and … time marches on …

Ice cream …. ? Only if it’s sugar free! This has helped me weather a storm or two, but … a gallon tub of Chunky Monkey is just a bad idea … as are the doughnuts, burgers, tacos and frozen pizzas that are sure to follow … (note to self: make another batch of ice cream)

“No Matter What”… ? Yep! This is another good one! This is something like a strongly erected roadblock in my mind, but … it’s this stubborn mule mentality that’s helped me stay strong when my chips were down. I’m sure that you will see me use this phrase often. “No Matter What” is a big mantra of mine. It keeps me in check. Another common mantra is “Poco a Poco”, but … that’s a story for another time …

I’m curious to know what each of you do when your chips are down? When you’re having a gloomy day, or dealing with the ongoing stresses of life … what do you do? How do you keep from diving into a big bowl of chocolate?

I’d like to work on assemling a bit of a toolkit that we can use, if and when we need those tools. Let me know your thoughts! Email me, or list them on Facebook, or … simply comment on this blog post. I’m sure each of you has something to offer that can help another!

Ok … now that that unpleasantness is behind us …

Life is actually really pretty great. I don’t want to focus on the negative, but I don’t want to ignore it, either. Mostly, life is awesome. These little roadblocks will help to make me a stronger person. As I assume they will for you!

The Straight Poop on Zero Carb!

Be warned: This next passage is a bit on the graphic side …

A few people emailed me about the zero carb diet. They wanted to know the same thing that I wanted to know, which was … what happens if you eat a diet without fiber? Doesn’t the fiber in vegetables help … *ahem* … keep things moving … ? I, too, was very concerned about the lack of fiber. I wasn’t sure what would happen. Would I get blocked up? Would I have the opposite problem? What could I expect?

Before I embarked on this diet, I wanted to see what had happened to other people. I found a site dedicated to Zero Carb. They had a long discussion archived about the topic. Most people seem to be experiencing approximately what I’m experiencing…

Here’s the truly graphic part … (highlight the text to read it)

I move my bowels about once every 2 to 3 days. It’s surprisingly small, seems to be an appropriate texture and color and comes into this world, easily. There’s no noticeable trouble, very little odor and no burning desire to “go”. That said, there IS one deviation from this pattern, which is “fat bombs”. I’ve noticed that when I eat a lot of fat, all at once, such as the egg nog or the cream cheese candies … about 45 minutes later, there’s a rush to the restroom and … evacuation occurs. This is uncomfortable and a bit on the wild side, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t occur. I do apologize if this is too graphic, but … enough people asked, that I felt I should address it. I also had the question, myself. I wanted to be as informative of my own experience, as possible. It seems as if “most” find this to be the case, as well. The good news is, there appears to be no constipation, nor any need for added fiber.

OK, the graphic portion is over.

All I can say is … I hope ALL my blogs aren’t like this one! This one is a little depressing and kind of disgusting! The cancellations are just going to fly, I’m sure!

I promise to be better, less grotesque and more uplifting in the future! I will. I swear!

This week’s recipes …

Because I’m basically on an all-meat diet, this month, it seems appropriate to do a recipe on steak. However, it’s MUCH more than a recipe on steak. It’s more a “how to cook steak” series of tips and suggestions. Check it out. I really tried to write something that can help people make a moist and flavorful steak! I hope y’all enjoy it! Also, there are some great accompaniments with the steak. There’s another dessert, which is nice for those with sweet teeth. I’m not a fan of Feta Cheese, but there’s a really nice little Greek Salad and … finally … probably my personal favorite … Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce! Yum!

Socially challenged …

I played with Facebook a little more, this week. I branched out and visited some other neighboring pages. This was kind of fun and interesting. I’m familiar with bulletin boards, but commenting on other peoples’ Facebook pages was a new thing for me. I liked it!

Fun Side Story:

As I was broadening my horizons, I managed to catch the attention of Cleochatra (AKA: Jamie Saal VanEaton). She’s the brilliant and endlessly funny woman behind the low carb YourLigherSide.com. She’s one of my biggest heroines and a big inspiration for me. She popped over to my Facebook page and told me she liked my vibe. WOW! YAY!!! That really made my day! Thanks, Jamie!

I mentioned this little exchange to my father, who told me a fun story. My parents made video games for a living. They founded one of the biggest game companies of the 80’s and 90’s. My father said he’ll never forget how wonderful it felt when he got a fan letter from Steve Wozniak (Woz … one of the founders of Apple and … many years later … a smooth dancer from Dancing with the Stars!). My father has never forgotten that. It’s really amazing how a few kind words from someone you look up to can have such a huge impact. (I’m gloating a little, but that really totally made my day!) It also makes me think Facebook is alright in my book!

I’d love to learn more about these social networking tools. Go type something meaningful on my Facebook page. Let me (and others!) know how you cope with down days. I’ll write back! Let’s get interactive! Force me to practice. Let’s draw each other out! You can also check out my Pinterest boards or see if I’ll Tweet something! Finally, you can check out my Google+ page. They made me use my real name. Darn itz! Oh well. I have no issue with people knowing my name, I’m just trying to keep my worlds separate, that’s all.

As I hit “Send” on this blog post, I assure you that I’m sweating bullets! I expect half of you to cancel, but … I hope that those of you that stay respect my forthrightedness (and just couldn’t figure out how to cancel!)

Thanks, Keep in Touch, Until Next Week … More Words Here!


ALL NEW Weekly Recipes!

Pan Roasted Beef Tenderloin Steak
One of the most common questions asked, since the day I stepped into a professional kitchen is … “How do I cook a steak?”

Truth be told, there are a million ways, a variety of methods, a plethora of seasonings, many theories, etc. I’m going to suggest the following based on a beef tenderloin steak, but suggest that the concepts can be applied to most cuts of a (quickly cooked) grilled, sautéed or roasted beef cut (nothing braised, smoked or slow roasted, mind you … those are very different approaches).

Herby Asparagus and Mushrooms
A classic combination! These earthy flavors really complement one another and go extremely well with one another, as well as heartier cuts of meat like beef, lamb and whole roasted chicken, turkey, etc.
Black Pepper and Caper Cream Sauce
One of the great things about a low carb way of eating, is the freedom to eat more cream and fat.

With a standard low fat diet, carbs are rarely limited (ALL food is, instead!). Usually, where there’s an increase in fat, there’s an increase in calories. Most conventional wisdom says calories are bad. The way your body burns fat for energy on a low carb diet is different than a diet consisting of an excess of carbs. Without getting too science-y … cream is ok to eat.

Strawberry Schmear Crepes with Whipped Cream
I don’t know if this is a recipe, so much as an idea to combine crepes with filling and top it with whipped cream. Whether it’s a “recipe” or not, remains to be seen. Whatever you want to call it … it’s delicious!
Grilled Chicken Satay
Peanut sauce is yum. Plain and simple. Its sweet, salty, fragrant and thick gingeriness always brings me comfort. It’s yum.

It’s commonly served in Thai restaurants with grilled satays, and a sweet cucumber salad. It’s also quite tasty mixed with chilled noodles, for a peanutty pasta salad! Slap some grilled shrimp on a pile of chilled peanut pasta salad, garnish with a few cilantro sprigs and everyone in the neighborhood will come running!

Thai Style Peanut Sauce
I remember being introduced to Thai food at a very young age, in Fresno, CA. I was about 10 years old and my uncle suggested this radical new taste sensation to my parents. It’s like Chinese, but … different! We ventured into this small plain restaurant called “The Thai House”. I just remember the simple wood paneling and tourism posters for “Thailand!” We ordered a nice variety of dishes and were BLOWN AWAY!
Greek Salad
I’m just going to come right out of the gate and say that I’m not a big fan of Feta Cheese. This recipe is here because it was requested that I make it. So, I did!

I think it’s very pretty, very healthy, full of colors and nutrients. I have some friends that grow sprouts and supply local restaurants. They brought over some lovely sunflower sprouts for me, on that day. (Side note: sprouts are awesome foodstuffs. Tasty, varied, full of nutrients and one of the only things people eat, while it’s still alive!)

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4 thoughts on “Emotional Eating and The Straight P*** on Zero Carb”

  1. Your brutal honesty with yourself is one of your blogs most compelling features. Keep doing what you are doing! And the food pics are always stunning- the best of all the food blogs I follow (including Cleochatra/Jamie’s site!)

  2. Hi LRamirez! Sorry I didn’t respond sooner. This system is supposed to email me when someone comments, but … it didn’t! I’ll look into my settings. Anywhoo … THANK YOU!! Yes, I got a lot of positive feedback from people, more sign ups and precisely ZERO cancellations! Friends and family are questioning me, but … people that are in, or have been, in my particular boat really seem to like what I’m doing! Oh … what to do, now?! Thanks, again!

  3. Sorry to hear you are dealing with personal ickys. You are right, you do not have to share them with us unless you want to, and presumably that would be only if sharing helped you deal with them somehow. Personally, I deal with them, usually badly, by trying to distract myself. Exercise is good but short term, a great book is better. In extreme cases, take a trip for a few days (best if you can join a group where you don’t know anybody else). Pets also can be a source of salvation/distraction (I have 2 cats who conspire to drive me crazy). Mostly I just muddle through and hope for a good night’s sleep, which is the first real sign that you are starting to put whatever it is into perspective.

    Good luck, and know that you have people pulling for you.

  4. Drink water. Your body is composed of about 60% water. Every job in your body happens in a fluid environment. For example, this fluid is used in digestion and absorption of food, circulation and transportation of nutrients (blood and lymph), production of saliva, and regulation of body temperature. It is also used to keep your muscles, joints and skin lubricated. It protects your organs and tissues. Water helps eliminate toxins (through breath, sweat, urine, and feces). It also helps you have regular bowel movements.


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