My Diet: MIA

February 15, 2008

For the three of you who’ve been following this blog since the beginning, you may have noticed that my “diet” posts (ie, posts in which I talk about how my diet’s not working, posts in which I discuss how I’d like my diet to be working better, posts in which I examine how I might be able to make my diet work better, or, simply, posts in which I use the word “diet” a lot) have gone MIA.  Wherefore art thou, O Ricki’s Diet, and why has she forsaken you?

Well, I must apologize.  It’s not that I’ve forgotten about my diet (ha! AS IF), but more that I haven’t felt there was anything worth reporting or mulling over lately without sounding terribly repetitive. Given that the original intent of this blog was (at least, partly) to chronicle what I hoped would be a monumental (40-lb.) weight loss over the next year, and to share with you how I was going to go about doing that, I seem to have lost sight (but never taste, apparently, or I might have actually lost an ounce or two) of the goal. 

Honestly, it’s not because the “diet” aspect of the blog is any less important.  It’s not because writing about food–desserts, especially–is any more fun (even though it is). It’s mostly that I haven’t been feeling very worthy of writing about dieting lately, given my recent eating patterns (which, suspiciously, resemble my pre-blog eating patterns).  How can I write with any authority about losing weight when I’m not doing so?  If you’ve looked at the progress tracker at all, you’ll see that the numbers have been going up, down, up, down, up, down, even more than the Paul McCartney-Heather Mills negotiations.  I’ve been so taken lately with all the appealing, interesting recipes and food in the world of blogging that I’ve neglected taking care of me and my health.

Well, that’s all about to change.  Now that Valentine’s Day is almost over (in our house, it’s taking place tomorrow), I’ve made a resolution.  True, most people make their resolutions on January 1st; but I’ve always been a later bloomer. 

Soooo. . . I’m going to declare the rest of February a “Chocolate-Free Zone.” 

You see, since I was a wee tot (who am I kidding?  I was never “wee”), chocolate has been the bane of my existence. Like an ex-boyfriend that you can’t quite let go of, like a Canadian winter, like the Oscars–I both love it and hate it.

The “love it” part is easy:  it’s a perfect base for dessert (which, after all, is my area of specialization); it’s creamy, smooth, sweet, delectable; it’s a booster of serotonin levels; it’s a portable bite for that 3:00 PM sugar crash; and it’s my very, very favorite, “I-can-eat-it-any-time-even-for-breakfast,” food.

The “hate it” part is less black and white (or milk and white, depending on your predilection): it’s a source of sometimes uncontrollable cravings; it’s the cause of weight gain (though not of acne, as once believed); it’s a pathetically poor substitute for a hug, a phone call with your best friend, or therapy; and it’s usually not as good as you thought it was going to be (sort of like that ex-boyfriend, again).

For me, the only way to avoid the inner turmoil around chocolate is the extreme move of cutting it out entirely.  Not forever (I couldn’t live with that), but for at least a week, until the urge passes. I’m embarking on a chocolate fast.  No chocolate.  No eating it, no baking with it, no buying it, no hiding it in the cupboard for a little nip when I’m feeling down. 

Instead, I’m going to try out a week (or, if I can make it, two) of eating in a way that’s worked for me in the past: a NAG-friendly , semi-detox diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds; minimal whole-grain flours; and only stevia as an added sweetener.  And NO CHOCOLATE.  (“How about cocoa, Mum?”) No, not even cocoa. (“How about carob, Mum?”)  Carob is acceptable. I’m also going to aim for over 50% raw foods each day. 

For me, this move is part desperation and part a yearning to regain to the experience of vibrant energy and health I enjoyed during my year studying natural nutrition.  At the time, one of my teachers there followed a 100% raw-foods (or living-foods, as it’s also called) diet. She also taught cooking classes, and I attended every one.  I was amazed at how fantastic the food was–colorful, delicious, a veritable feast for the senses.  I’m hoping to share some of her recipes, as well as others I’ve discovered over the years.

Hopefully, this new hard-line regime will help me ride out the chocolate-DTs, followed by a more moderate approach to eating (and, of course, chocolate)–and maybe even a little weight loss.

I do have a couple of desserts and one or two other dishes that I’ve recently prepared and will post as blog entries over the next two weeks, but for the most part, I’ll be sharing my healthier, detoxifying, health-conferring goodies with you.  And I’m hoping that declaring it this way on the blog will help me to actually follow through!

So I hope you’ll bear with me after the recent influx of indulgent baked goods.  Like some of you, I sometimes feel that a day without baking is a day devoid of some ineffable, necessary primal “something,” something that satisfies at the chromosomal level. 

No doubt, the baking will return.  Part of my goal when I started this blog was to lose 40 pounds before my next birthday, and unless I somehow get the chocolate habit under control, I know it won’t be a very happy one.  (And speaking of birthdays, another HUGE impetus for the chocolate ban is the upcoming birthday bash for Gemini I’s husband–a massive party in the works–on March 1st.  Two weeks away; need something nice, nothing fits, don’t want to have to buy something new. Think I could lose 10 pounds by then?  Me, either.)

And so, chocolate, adieu.  It’s only for a short while, but I’m hoping that absence, in this case, will not make the heart grow fonder.  No doubt I will miss you; I may even pine for you.  Still, one day, I hope to look at you with the same indifferent eye with which I gaze at Cream of Wheat, or paisley, or Josh Groban (sorry, Josh, not a big fan). After the week is over, let’s renegotiate our relationship in a more level-headed manner. In the meantime, I’ll attempt to forge ahead on my own, without you. But we’ll always have Paris (it is, after all, home of your finest specimens).

(“Oh, Mum, you’re so histrionic.  Really, get a grip. Who cares about chocolate?  It’s not a big deal.  But, um, you’re not thinking of changing your mind about carob now too, are you?  Because, you know, we’re allowed to eat carob, and we really love that carob-date thing you make.  So we can keep the carob, can’t we, Mum? Can’t we?  Mum???”)

elsiecarob.jpg

7 Responses to “My Diet: MIA”

  1. Annie Says:

    Who can resist that precious face?? After seeing that pleading look, I bet the carob stays!🙂

  2. Lucy Says:

    Yep.

    Carob stays. Chocolate? Why, oh why is it so damn hard to forgo? Good luck!

  3. Michelle Says:

    I’ve “tagged” you. If you wish to participate, visit my blog for the “rules:”

    http://cookingthebooksusa.blogspot.com/2008/02/tag-im-it.html

  4. Monika K Says:

    I’m with you – let’s ditch the chocolate, suddenly lose tons of weight and be forever happy! (That is how this works, right?) (-:

  5. Johanna Says:

    hi Ricki (am home now so hope this wont go in spam!) I felt a lot of sympathy with your post, having just got home from a week of eating rubbish – not quite but I just never eat so well when away so I am telling myself I must eat better. Chocolate is also my weakness – I kid myself I would never bake if not for chocolate!

    My suggestion for you in trying to avoid chocolate is that if you need a hit could you do a mole with chocolate in it – I have tried a few that I loved and there is a good chilli non carne with beer and cocoa on Cassie’s Veggie Meal Plans blog. Just a thought – after all it was originally known as a bitter food rather than a sweet food!

  6. Tania Says:

    What an eloquent post, Ricki. I love the ex-boyfriend analogy!

    I’m on the eve of a birthday and this annual reminder that my body is aging is certainly causing me to take stock of how I’ve been eating lately. Too much sugar has been my problem. Each time I eat it, it’s never as satisfying as I hoped it would be (possibly because there is something else unsatisfied in my life!) and simply causes me to crave more. I’m hoping to cut way, way, way back … for the rest of my life if possible!

    Anyway, all this is my verbose way of saying I sort of understand where you are coming from. I wish you luck. May you prevail over all things chocolate!

  7. Ricki Says:

    Annie,
    Yes, once again, Elsie will have her way with me. Carob stays! (Besides, I’m going to need some sort of substitute for chocolate!!)

    Lucy,
    Thanks for the good-luck wishes. Even after a lifetime of attempts, I still can’t forgo chocolate entirely (and am not quite sure why it’s so hard to do so!). My heart goes out to people like Amy Winehouse–it’s just that my addiction isn’t quite so destructive (or illegal).

    Michelle,
    Yay! Thanks! I will go check it out asap.

    Monika,
    Ah, if only it were so simple, right? I love the “forever happy” part. Okay, I think my new mantra is going to be “let’s ditch the chocolate, suddenly lose tons of weight and be forever happy”!! I’ll let you know how it works out. . .

    Johanna,
    Well, WordPress is definitely being strange. Yes, your comment was kicked into spam again! (I’ve clicked the “mark as not spam” button each time. . . it may be time to contact Support over this one). But on to the comment! I love the mole concept, as I am a great fan of anything spicy (though your chili dish in Darwin did sound a bit too much!). In fact, I often put some cocoa into my regular chilis just to give them some depth of flavor. But I think I’m still going to wait at least a week or two to give my body a rest from chocolate.

    Tania,
    Thanks so much. I can relate to everything you say; in fact, this blog was started as a reaction to an upcoming birthday (not for several more months, thankfully!). And sugar has been my devil, too. I’ve found from experience that the only way to get over it is to cut it out entirely, at least for a while. And the support is much appreciated!


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