You know, the next line in the song is “Hot caramel custard”. And, whilst I am not really into custard all that much, I probably could be talked into it. I am a sweet tooth, after all, and I will pretty much pine after anything made with sugar. When I think about what I have eaten in the past it disturbs me somewhat. In the days BHA[Before Heart Attack] I would have had no problems knocking off a packet of Tim Tams in one sitting… By myself… Once married, it became harder as Mrs Dave has a sweet tooth too. I never really suggested two packets, although at times I’m sure we were both thinking it.
Amazing stuff, food, quite the insidious influencer in our lives. We all, generally, like sweet food and salty food more than any of the other flavours, bitter, sour and umami, [the five flavours]. Who knows why… I’m sure someone has done research on it. What I think is the interesting about it is that those flavours are intrinsically linked to the “bad” foods. They lead us to play chicken with our health. Now, not all people do, don’t get me wrong. But with the accelerating increase of obesity in our society it would be fair to say that most people don’t do all the right things as far as healthy eating goes. Skinny people eat badly too you know. You know that person that can eat a whole pizza and not put on an extra gram? Well, their metabolism may be burning up the kilojoules in the fat and sugar, but they can’t burn off the cholesterol.
So, how does that relate to my journey? I like both, sweet and salty. As I have said, I could eat a packet of Tim Tams in a sitting and finish it of with a Magnum, or two. This could easily have been dessert after consuming 10 pieces of KFC and two large chips. And whatever you do, don’t forget the soft drink. A session like that would need at least a 1.25 litre bottle of Coke to wash it down. Is it any wonder I ended up on my back in a cardiac ward. I used to think a balanced diet was being able to hold and eat a burger in each hand without dripping any sauce on my t-shirt.
So why did I do it? I think there a few reasons. I was depressed for quite a while. Probably more accurately manic depressive, so I ate to modify my moods. I grew up in a poor household and felt power from being able to buy and eat whatever I wanted. I’m an overeater, I have lost the ability to feel full. So I eat until I feel sick. And, I’m a fast eater, so I can consume a lot without it looking like it. I practiced these fine arts mainly in private but also did not have a problem showing my prowess at any occasion.
In addition to having these problems, I just like food. I like cooking it, I like eating it, and I like talking about it. It would be fare to say, I’m a foodaholic. We get drawn into foody things. The current craze of the cronut is the perfect example. Why someone thought we needed and oversized, deep fried, caramel and cream coated croissant is beyond me. Mind you, it’s only beyond me now, three weeks ago I would have been the first in line. It has been such a revelation that you can by 10 cronuts on ebay for $5000. That’s not a typo, $5000… Now that’s crazy.
But don’t worry. I am not spiraling into a pit of despair due to my disconnection from my food world. Quite the opposite. Having to take more control of my healthy eating[over my addictions] has meant that I am cooking more, reading and talking about food more and, arguably, eating much more high quality, high flavor foods than I ever have.
I am also woefully under-educated about food and healthy eating. I think we all are. I can tell you that even at the beginning of my learning journey I have learned the following to be true:
- almost all food is good in moderation,
- some food needs to be eaten in very small portions before it becomes bad,
- you can eat alot more that you think and maintain a healthy eating lifestyle,
- carbs are good,
- fats are not bad,
- almost all of us eat incorrect portion sizes of almost all the food we eat,
- almost all of us eat the wrong things because of habit, not need,
- weight is not as important as body shape and size,
- anything that tells you to remove something from your diet is probably bad,
So what am I doing? Three things.
- Cooking most of my meals from the recipes in Diabetic Living. Also starting to make my old recipes with my new knowledge.
- Clearing our all the oversized serving containers from our kitchen.
- Changing my habits to take me away from the places that enforced my bad eating habits.
Now, I could tell you all of this and you could rightly say “that’s all talk”, and you would be right. I could also tell you I am feeling better than I have in over 20 years, that could be all talk too. It’s not. But if you would really like some quantifiable proof for my pudding then here it is. Whilst weight is not the most important thing it is unequivocal. In the three weeks since my heart attack I have, so far, lost 6.9kgs. For those of you playing at home, and without the aid of a calculator, that’s 2.3 kgs a week. And that’s even before I add exercise back into my routine. It’s not earth shattering, but it is a very solid start.
So, now the sermon. You owe it to yourself to do these things:
- Go to you doctor and have your cholesterol, triglycerides and hba1c[long term blood glucose] tested.
- Take a good look at your self, in the mirror.
- Look at the serving crockery you have in you kitchen and ask you self whether it is a good portion size.
- Delete the word “diet ” from you vocabulary.
- Educate yourself about food and eating, from a good source.
- Learn how to read nutritional labels on packaged food.
I love you all, and I don’t want any of you to have to deal with the outcomes from the kind of lifestyle I have led. Even those of you I don’t like that much… Only joking.
I have alot more to say about this, but this is enough for now.
A few good references on healthy eating