Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Observations from vacation - types of food

I am going to break down various observations I made over vacation every day this week - all related to diet or fitness in myself or others. I will start with the most ego centric - observations about myself.

I really, really think it's key to look at ourselves - our tendencies, our strengths, our weaknesses, how things affect us physically and emotionally - for all things so that we can constantly learn and improve ourselves.

So, I observed how foods affect me.

During our stay, we stayed one day in Zagreb, 7 days in Biograd, 10 days on Mljet, and 6 days in Dubrovnik. We also spent about 3 days in travel - two on the plane and one on a bus. All of these places, save Zagreb, were on the sea in dry climates. Primary diet is meat, potatoes and bread. Very little green and bread is a huge staple.

In Biograd we stayed in an apartment where we could cook. In the morning we got bread and cheese for breakfast. For lunch we made a salad of tomatoes and green peppers and cheese (served with bread) and for dinner we either went out or made a meal at home of meat, eggs and the same type of salad. But... we also ate a few cookies and ice cream in the evening, every evening - mmmm gelato!

Then we went to Mljet. ARGH!!! At this place, we had an apartment within the National Park of Mljet. We were 1.5 miles from the little village and we were in a single residence. For breakfasts we opted to have our own - we walked into the village 4 times during the 10 days to buy juice, cheese, cookies, milk and other little things for breakfast and snacks. 3 times during our stay a vegetable guy came to the house and we bought stuff for lunches and fruit for snacks. And every day the bakery guy came to the house and we bought bread and pastries for snacks and breakfast. For dinners, we ate at the home of the family and she prepared a meal - family style. This was tough as we only had what she gave us and most nights it wasn't enough for the 4 of us (little guy pretty much didn't eat with us) and if it was, it wasn't tasty. This meant, of course, a lot more snacking before and after dinner to get enough food.

During these ten days, we had almost no greens as none were available. We had super over cooked zucchini a couple times during dinner, but otherwise it was tomatoes. We filled up on potatoes, bread, pastries and butter cookies basically.

Then we went to Dubrovnik. We had breakfast at home (same bread and cheese and fruit breakfasts). Then we packed rolls and pastries and cheese for lunches on the go and then had dinner out every night. Most days we got an ice cream midday and always, more butter cookies for snacking when there was nothing else.

There was really no easy way to avoid eating  a lot of carbs on this trip - without major refrigeration issues or meat overload. I get a lot of protein at home, but from nuts primarily - not a big option there. I ate more bread in those 26 days than I have all together in 20 months. Probably triple the amount of bread as I have basically gone without bread except for a party here and there for 20 months. And cookies and pastries? I haven't had those much either. Ice cream? Lots of carbs.

All the while, I enjoyed the flavors, but I watched my waistline expand. I hold so much glycogen when I eat carbs. My gut expands a couple inches quickly. All my shorts were beginning to feel tight. Not in the hips, but in the waist.

Then, my face started to break out. I haven't had pimple problems since I switched to a lower carb diet. My face went from a fairly even skin with 'normal' amount of oil, to an oily mess with pimples popping up everywhere like I was a teenager again. Who knew it would be carbs that did that to me?

Then, my digestion. When I eat a lower carb diet, I only need to go poo every 3-5 days. I am not constipated. Definition of constipation is not how frequently you go, but how difficult it is to go when you go. When I eat higher carb, I go daily and I go a LOT. It's like the carbs mostly don't get absorbed and pass through my system quickly. When I eat lower carb, I process things more - kind of like a breastfed baby that is past the newborn phase and before the food stage where they may only poo once or twice a week.

So, what I've learned is that I don't handle carbs well - that's grains basically. Some might call it gluten intolerance with the new fad, but it's not just the flour... as rice and sugars and oats also affect me the same way. It's the simple carbs period. My body just sees all of it as junk food.

When I eat a high protein and high fat diet with limitations on carbs, I feel good and my body feels and looks good. So, back to lower carb I go. Since back I've eaten NO bread (on day 3 now) and have turned back to almonds and peanuts for protein as well as yogurt. For fats, again, less on meat and cheese and more on nuts and avocado and olive oil.

I eat carbs, please NO ONE think I'm doing some fad diet of eating just fatty meats. I'm not. For breakfast the last two days I hate cantaloupe with yogurt a bit of oatmeal (yes grains, but not much). For  second breakfast I ate a peanut protein bar. For lunch I ate an apple with cinnamon with 3 tablespoons of peanut butter. For a snack I ate a handful of almonds and sunflower kernels. For dinner I ate tomato, orange pepper and romaine lettuce salad with olive oil and vinegar and had a pork cutlet and for a snack, a small square of dark chocolate. For the day I had 1500 calories with 55 net carbs. It's not a bacon diet! Though, yum bacon!

Weight is still dropping too. Water weight is coming off and I figure will continue to come off slowly. I think my body is trying to ovulate this month too, so there's weight there too. We'll see with that one. Other than that, one day at a time with better eating for me - eating that my body prefers - lots of green veggies, nuts, fruits and meats. Tastes good too! Right now the idea of eating bread makes me feel icky.

Highest weight: 275  Now: 180.4

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