Food Mood

When food is used to cope, getting sidelined can happen with just one bite.

One bite and it’s over.

You make commitments to get healthy, to cut out gluten, to run more, to be better, faster, stronger

But then comes an angry text from a certain somebody, an email from the lawyer with a mediation date, two sick kids after only six days of school…

My girls’ Whole Foods margherita pizza looks really good as I sit here and type. It’s bubbling with gooey cheesiness and there’s that thin wheat crust with scattered bits of basil and tomato. And the smell….

The sleeves of Oreos over there look pretty tempting, too. The girl’s dad brought home a gigantic box of those suckers to make home-made ice cream. Would they even notice if I grabbed and dashed and hid in my room, back to the closed door with a crumb coated smile?

They might not.

Eating the pizza would start the inner war. Then would come the apathetic negotiating (which you will lose) for a second piece. A third piece wouldn’t seem unreasonable if the shit hit the fan at any time during that second piece.

Before the pizza had time to move on down the digestive track, the cookies would one finger wave me over and then I’d really be doomed. My soothed mood would make the decision for me; add the sugar and it will be all better. You will feel better. You will feel something other than sad, mad, had…

It would end badly, though; rubbing a sore gut and kicking an already bruised ego.

Instead of managing my stress with food I instead (just) made a bowl of mixed greens with half a pear, some sliced almonds, gorgonzola and a bit of balsamico. Clap. Please, do.

I feel momentarily better, but it doesn’t change the fact that I need to get away from the kitchen and fast.

I know it’s early for bed (6:26) but the farther I get from that room, the better I’ll be able to manage today’s out of control appetite for diet destruction!

Night night.


The pizza.
The Oreos.
It was pretty. I should have taken a picture, but it was either eat or be beat.

Gluten Free Me?

It has been established that traditional weight loss and diet techniques do not work for me. My yo-yo has worn itself out and my quest for a healthier life and body has led me here.

Step one has been to quit getting on the scale, a strictly mental challenge. My weight on the scale has nothing to do with how I feel in my body, heart or mind. I can be up or I can be down and depending on that digital number my mood is affected, pushing me toward my coping method of choice; food (eat happy, eat sad).

Three weeks ago I quit Diet Coke.

Fifteen days ago I committed to cutting out the sugary foods that plagued my every waking thought; ice cream, cookies, cakes, etcetera. Sugar (in its obvious form), I discovered, was not that difficult to subtract from my diet.

Hidden sugars, it turns out, have been more difficult to avoid as they are in everything from seemingly healthy cereals and protein bars, breads, frozen entrees, and yogurts.

Being aware has helped me to stay away from the hidden sugars, but I’m finding it all but impossible to cut the stuff out completely. Still, I try.

What, then, is the next step?

In the past two weeks I’ve paid attention to my overuse of carbohydrates (healthy and not).

As I see it I have two choices; either commit to only consuming whole grains and other good carbs or attempt a period of gluten-free to see what it might do to my body.

I don’t know much about a gluten-free lifestyle. It doesn’t have a great reputation to those who live and die by carbohydrate laden lifestyles. But every person I’ve ever met who’s gone gluten-free not only looked terrific, they themselves have praised the benefits in regard to how they feel.

I know I’ll never be a waif.  I don’t care to be. But I want to feel good and so I am intrigued.

Like with sugar, I know in the future I’ll be faced with a birthday party cupcake or a morning meeting complete with a box of Crispy Cremes to fuel tired brains. With gluten, I know there will always be mom’s pasta dinners, cheese and crackers at cocktail parties, barbeques with cheeseburgers begging for rolls.

This scares me. A cheeseburger without a roll scares me!

What do you know about gluten-free? How does one prepare for the lifestyle? What changes have you made to your diet that have helped you become a better healthier you (not necessarily in regard to weight)?


The bottom shelf of the pantry. Our go to snack station. I guess the Rice Crispies are okay? I have no idea, though.

Flax-Seed Chicken, Millet, and Kale Chips

I have many talents, but sucess in the kitchen is not one of them.

One of my mother’s favorite stories is about the time I called her while my lasagna was bubbling in the oven. I thought I was being clever by making a smaller sized single serving, so a great big pan was unnecessary. Using a spring-form pan, however, was a total blonde moment. It was also a gigantic mess as the sauce and cheese dripped right out of the sides of the pan and all over the oven floor.

I continue to practice my cooking skills and have a repertoire of mostly toddler food. I make a mean Barefoot Contessa chicken (there’s not anything easier, actually), haven’t yet messed up macaroni and cheese from a box, and my kids love my sliced veggies and microwaved frozen peas.

My goal is to eat more healthily, though, which means I have to branch out.

Here are two fails and one success from this week’s menus.

Example 1. Thursday’s beautifully dipped in egg and rolled in flax-seed fried chicken.

All that good flax gone to waste. How depressing!

Example 2. Last night’s attempt at millet. It said to simmer for thirty minutes, but I got sidetracked and forgot about it until the burning smell made me run to see if it could be saved.

There wasn't much left since half of it was black and stuck to the bottom of the pan. The girls thought it was cute to make millet sandwiches using cucumbers as bread. Whatever it takes to get them to eat it is fine with me.
Trying to mix things up I bought millet. It looks a lot like quinoa, though the texture is a bit more dense. That could have been due to the fact that it was severely overcooked. Still, it wasn't bad. Next time I'll watch it more closely.

Since I’m not a quitter and have been interested in making kale chips for a while, I stood by the stove after cutting off the stems, drizzling the leaves with olive oil and sprinkling them with sea salt.

After just ten minutes they were crispy enough to eat with dinner, but not super crunchy like chips.

Thankfully I can claim them a success. Brian and I ate them up (too weird for the girls, I’m afraid) and it might be my new favorite way to get those greens!

After. Pretty leafy greens!

Mindful Eating vs. Mommy Eating

Today was my mid-week mid mileage run. I mapped when I got home and had gone farther than actually planned, roughly 7 miles. I was happy  about the mileage, but not so much the speed. While on the road, I felt slower than slow. I visualized myself like a little turtle. A turtle in pink compression socks.  It turned out I actually had run an 11.42 minute mile.  Faster than Monday, but still pretty sad.

I spent the majority of the run thinking about why I am so slow? I wish it was complicated, because then I’d have an excuse for it. No, it’s simple. I have terrible eating habits. And I’m great at excuses!

Yesterday is a pretty good example of why. I started the day as I usually do, with a cup of Special K with Red Berries and a cup of skim milk. A few hours later the girls were getting antsy because I was still typing away, and they wanted to go to the library as I’d promised. A bad mommy moment later, to minimize the whining and buy me some time, I offered them a homemade cupcake that Brian had brought home from work last night, and a show on the DVR. There were three cupcakes left, so they each got one. I figured that last little cupcake shouldn’t just be sitting there all alone, so I gobbled it up. After going upstairs to get showered and dressed, the library was waiting, and I realized I should feed the kids some real food before we ventured out. I made them a whole wheat pita pizza with bell peppers, and they nibbled carrot sticks with humus while it cooked. I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When they were finished with their lunch, I participated in the most dreadful, “deadly to the waistline,” habit of the stay at home mom. I finished their food. Oh, and lest I forget, I also finished the remainder of the cupcake that Grace didn’t want (she didn’t like the peanut butter on the inside).

Hmm. I wonder if that bit of peanut butter is what made me want a pb&j?

I digress.

The day continued in the same frenzied way. At the grocery store in the late afternoon I sampled the ham and salami that we got at the deli counter. A cookie from the cookie bin and a piece of “grocery store” bread, the kind that’s filled with sunflowers and honey, was next. For dinner, I gave the girls leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes that their grandmother had made the night before. I steamed up some green beans and voila, dinner was served. I proceeded to eat a bite of meat loaf out of the pan, two bites of potatoes from the microwaved dish, two green beans, and 2 gigantic bowls of ice cream!

We went upstairs after dinner and I brushed my teeth, so I wouldn’t be tempted to stack later.  As soon as the night-time routine was complete and the kids were asleep, I came back downstairs for this week’s Empire Boulevard, a Fresca, and a the remaining half of a bag of pita chips from Sam’s Club (you know, the gigantic bag) hiding in the back of the pantry.

The excuses had to stop today. I will never get faster if I don’t stop this ridiculous and lazy eating. I need to be mindful and care more about me. I’ve got to fuel my body right if I’m ever going to lighten up to speed up, let alone run 26.2 miles.

Today has been a much better day. I’ve eaten whole, real, small meals and I feel much better! Let’s hope this turtle can keep it together; the marathon and my life require it.