Thank you to everyone who contacted me about Pyxi. She is no worse, thank goodness. She’s eating and taking her meds. Her energy level isn’t quite where it usually is, but neither is she markedly lethargic. So, I’m cautiously optimistic that she’s holding steady at the very least. Perhaps the medication will gradually lead to some improvement.
Emotionally, I was much better today. Still concerned, but I didn’t cry multiple times. I was able to focus with greater effectiveness and not dissolve into a mushy mess. I also succeeded in sticking to my abstinence and not catapulting off the recovery wagon to plunge into vats of inappropriate food.
It might be a little premature, but I feel like I’ve turned some sort of corner over the last week where my eating disorder and recovery are concerned. I’m not obsessing about food. I’m committing to my food plan on a daily note on my phone and then logging meals, snacks, water and exercise in My Fitness Pal.
Staying on my food plan is accomplished with little struggle and angst. . I’m not beset by cravings. This all greatly reduces my levels of eating disorder-related stress and anxiety.
While writing this, I just had a realization. You know how I’ve been seeing an acupuncturist? As part of the treatment, she places some needles in key points in my outer ears to assist with the food cravings. For the last couple of weeks, after removing the needles at the end of the session, she sticks tiny metal “seeds” on the points to continue help with the cravings/food thoughts. Normally, these begin to irritate me by now, the evening of the day after the treatment. According to the practitioner, the irritation or twinges happen because a particular point or set of points needs the assist. So, it was no coincidence, I guess, that I had irritation at the seed points when I was also struggling with the compulsive disease.
Tonight, I’m not struggling and the seeds aren’t bothering me. Also not a coincidence, I suspect.
This week, I’ve been more open and willing to exercise. Not just the rowing classes, which I love, but also finding other opportunities to be active. Yesterday, because I had an early acupuncture appointment, I didn’t have to leave my house as early as usual. So, I pulled on a bathing suit and did a half hour of exercise in the pool. The other night, I rode my bike to and from Tai Chi. All of these things add up.
Speaking of rowing, I am very proud of myself today. I absolutely nailed the day’s routine. There were three of us in the 4:30 p.m. class. We were going for consistency and distance in increasing increments. First we rowed for a minute, then three minutes, five minutes, seven minutes and nine minutes. All these had :20 rest periods in between the intervals. We had a two minute rest and then five one minute rows in which we gradually increased our strokes per minute. All told, in slightly more than 30 minutes, I rowed the equivalent of 3.5 miles! I also earned zone master designation for the class which means that I kept my heart rate up in the desired 80-89% range for the longest amount of time overall. I also was the cool down champion, meaning I brought my heart rate back down the soonest. Not bad, right? Particularly when I was older than the other two rowers by about 30 years.
From there I drove home and made dinner, which brings me to the real topic of tonight’s post — reimagining binge foods. There are certain foods that I absolutely cannot trust myself to eat in sane, healthy, portion-appropriate ways. I will binge on them. It’s that simple. When I’m in a bad place with my eating disorder, I’ll bring them into the house, even though I know that I will definitely overeat. When I’m in a good, healthy, abstinent place, I don’t get those particular foods. It just isn’t worth triggering a binge.
Pizza is a binge food for me if I order it when I’m alone. I’m okay if I go out with friends, or have it here when I have company, but I absolutely cannot be alone with pizza. At all. Back in the pre-weight loss surgery days, I could easily plow my way through an entire pie, washed down with a liter of soda. These days, with the restricted stomach size, even if I can’t physically fit more than, say, a slice and a half, if there is leftover pizza in the house, I’ll keep going back to it and pick at the toppings and cheese. It’s a different kind of binge, but it still counts as one.
This totally bites, because I love pizza, but I accept the limitations. I’ll have it if I’m out with friends sometimes, but that’s it.
Last week sometime, the rowing class trainer and all of us were talking eating healthy. For me, I’m making a concentrated effort to up my protein grams per day, and cut way back on refined sugar and starchy carbs like bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, etc. For example, earlier this week I cooked and mashed up celery root. Mashed celery root makes a fine substitute for mashed potatoes. I seasoned it up, added a little plain Greek yogurt and have enjoyed a reasonable serving at eat dinner. Anyway, back to the trainer. He mentioned that he and his wife, who is also a trainer, experimented with a cauliflower and cheese “pizza” crust and it was great.
I’ve seen this cauliflower crust from time to time in Facebook recipe memes and other places, but I’ve never tried to make one. As it happens, I got a head of organic cauliflower in my organics share this week, so I vowed to try it tonight. I even went so far as to prepare the cauliflower part last night so I could put it together with the other ingredients and bake it tonight.
Cauliflower, some cheese, seasonings, and eggs make up the mixture. You spread it out like a crust on a baking sheet and bake it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Add your favorite toppings and bake for 10 minutes more. Tonight I spread some homemade tomato/red bell pepper/meat sauce over the top.
Oh. My. Goodness. It was absolutely delicious! No, not the same completely chewy texture as a thick flour/yeast crust, but so tasty that the difference didn’t matter one bit. My meat sauce topping was pretty darned terrific, too. I thoroughly savored and enjoyed my reasonable portion of the dish and felt no compulsion to binge or otherwise overeat.
I then input the ingredients into My Fitness Pal and determined that, even with the cheese, the Cauliflower pizza crust is definitely a healthy alternative to regular pizza. 181 calories, 14 g of protein, only 4 grams of carbohydrates; 12.5 grams of fat. I can’t get too worked up about the fat grams since I didn’t slather more ooey gooey cheese on top.
Look, I don’t pretend to say that I will never again eat “real” pizza, but having this delicious, healthier, reimagined version of a dreaded binge food makes me very happy!