Reconceptualizing my Stomach

I’ve never been a breakfast guy. Meals have always been important— in that I love to eat; timing has never mattered, I’ve always been willing to skip an average non-exciting meal in favor of the idea of a more interesting one later in the day. Into the life of such a one as myself, my specialist tells me I should eat clean, and that I would be better off eating 6 smaller meals rather than 2 or 3 larger ones. stomach-hi

In the first place I’d never heard the concept of clean eating, although I find out I’ve been doing it in most ways for most of my life.

“Clean eating is a deceptively simple concept. Rather than revolving around the idea of ingesting more or less of specific things (for instance, fewer calories or more protein), the idea is more about being mindful of the food’s pathway between its origin and your plate. At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or “real” foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. However, modern food production has become so sophisticated that simply eating whole foods can be a challenging proposition these days.”
Fitness Magazine

We’re already partly to our goal.  We avoid processed foods. I’m not great about the amount of fresh veg we eat.  I try to keep a lot of veg in our diet but I also have had better luck controlling my weight by staying on the hi-protein/lo-carb diet — so veg sometimes get lost in the mix.  We used many of the right oils — but I do love my butter and cook with it shamelessly. I could reduce our alcohol intake but right now I only average 1 drink per day so that would pretty much turn me into an abstainer, as compared with a more-controlled user. Sugar might be my big sin — I like desserts, we don’t eat a lot of processed foods with sugar already in them, but I’m not bashful about adding sugar when I bake — at all,  ever. Salt?  Yeah — there is that… Whole grains we are already including in our diet. I try to keep fruit IN my diet and that protein thing — the cutting down on meat — well, not so much.  The whole control over refined grains depends on whether or not I want great that moment! Others would add to the list limiting the number of ingredients in a dish/meal to 7 or fewer.  Not hard for us to do.

But there’s this big thing hanging out there.  More Smaller Meals!

How am I ever going to do that?

They keep changing what Clean Eating is supposed to be, but here’s one version of the Mantra
1. Choose whole, natural foods and seek to eliminate or minimize processed foods.
Processed foods are anything in a box, bag, can, or package, and although there are always a few exceptions to the rule (like a bag of fresh green beans), the majority of your foods should be fresh.
2. Choose unrefined over refined foods.
While it may not be possible all the times, you can up your intake of whole grains like brown rice, millet, amaranth, and quinoa. Beans and legumes are also important. Clean sugars include honey, maple syrup, and dehydrated sugar cane juice.
3. Include some protein, carbohydrate and fat at every meal.
Most of us typically do well with carbohydrates and fat, but we often lack protein, especially in the early part of the day, like at breakfast and lunch. Protein is an important muscle-builder, and it can also help curb your appetite. When eaten throughout the day, it keeps us feeling full longer. Be aware of the kinds of meals you put together and space out your protein.
4. Watch out for fat, salt, and sugar.
This is easier than you think, particularly if you’ve cut out processed foods, which are responsible for most of our excess calories and high levels of fat, sugar, and salt. Clean foods are usually naturally low in all of these ingredients.
5. Eat five to six small meals throughout the day.
This usually pans out into three main meals and two or three hefty snacks. Eating this way prevents you from skipping meals and overeating. It also keeps your blood sugar levels steady so energy doesn’t lag.
6. Don’t drink your calories.
High calorie drinks like specialty coffees and soft drinks, on average, tack on an extra 400 to 500 calories a day. Choose water first, or my personal favorite, unsweetened tea (any flavor). Other clean drinks: low-fat or skim milk and 100 percent fruit juice diluted with sparkling water.
7. Get moving.
Regular physical activity is a must for many reasons. Not only does it decrease fat, strengthen and build muscle, and help you burn more energy at rest, it keeps your heart, lungs, and bones healthy and strong.
cookinglight  dot com

I hate when someone keeps moving the targets without telling you!

And if you read that carefully, you’ll notice that nowhere in that Clean Eating check list did it say anything about eating more small meals.  No where.  That’s something Doc just threw in to challenge me.  How do you do that?

To me, meals need to be interesting.  There has to be a reason to stick calories in my mouth.  I have struggled with my weight enough years that if I’m going to have to watch how much I weigh I’m going to want the calories I consume to bring some enjoyment to life.  And frankly, 6 snacks a day just doesn’t cut it.

Or at least not the way I think of ‘snacks’, or ‘meals.’  Over the last few weeks I’ve been spending time trying to figure out how to do that.

RV Living Helps

golabkiThe idea that I have a small kitchen in Serendipity does make some things a little easier.  Small kitchen, limited work space — it’s not so easy to make a large batch of pierogi or Golabki.  That’s a fact of life.  bigos polskiAnd downsizing recipes to accommodate a smaller RV kitchen is OK but it challenges the serious foodie.  After all, how can you have a good Polish “meal” when all the calories you are meant to eat at a sitting are contained in ONE menu item.  One Golabki, or three Pierogi, or 1 chunk of Polish Sausage…. Makes for a less than satisfying meal, doesn’t it?

Cartoon Vector Stock

The culinary landscape

I’m working my way through this landscape filled with culinary landmines!  It’s not like I can get an explosive sniffing dog to sniff out the dangers along my life-changing route.  A container of yogurt just isn’t the same — and I’ve got to find some viable alternatives that work for me.

Ok — we both know that I’m mostly playing around about this.  I’ll figure it out.  I’m serious about learning to be healthier.  But I did want to illustrate one very simple reality about changing your life;  it doesn’t happen by mistake, by accident, or without thinking about it.  You have to make up your mind to change, and you have to do whatever it takes to effect change. And that’s where I am right now.  You can picture me with culinary roadmaps spread out across the lounge and me trying to make heads or tails out of them.  No quick solution GPS gadget here.  The only way to figure out this route is to trudge on through, come up against a few low overpasses,  get stopped by a few highway low weight limit signs, and have a few roadside breakdowns along the way.  I’ll figure it out.  Just like everyone else who faces a mandated major change in life.  It’s just life.  We can whine about it.  We can joke about it.  But what matter is that we find a way from point a to point b.

I hope you were able to laugh along with me a little here.  We have another couple weeks here — I keep saying that as if it’s a known thing but we won’t actually be sure about that until after the next doctor early in December.  So, in the meantime we’re working on following directions.  I haven’t been this careful about trying to follow someone else’s directions in maybe a quarter century when I was still working for someone else.

I should comment, perhaps, on my concept of publication days…

calendar pagesI’m sure most of you have realized that I do not write in real time; there is almost always a time lag involved. Posts are typically written 5 or 6 days before they publish.  I attempt to compensate for the delay by giving you a clue within the text of the blog as to what day it might be when I’m writing that post.

There are a few reasons for this — and I’m not trying to evade other RV’ers who might want to meet up with us.

  • For one thing there are days when I don’t write at all — travel days are the most common example.  I don’t want the pressure of no-post-for-today to color my writing.
  • Then there are days when I might write two posts or even three — depending on my inspiration that day.  If there are things on my mind I write them when I’m thinking about them.
  • But most importantly, I rarely want my exact presence on any given day to become an accepted public fact.  In terms of personal security, telling everyone that you aren’t in your RV is a good way of inviting theft.  There are times when we are camping in remote locations and it’s just not a smart idea to assume that the whole rest of the world are honest and wish one well.  I don’t try to tick people off but sometimes I just do. 🙂

On the day I’m writing this post I happen to be 6 days ahead.  Occasionally I’ll fall down on the writing job and the calendar will catch up with me.  But usually I keep myself a personal privacy cushion.  I’m sure you all understand.  When we were working for the Forest Service our campsite was behind a locked gate — we didnt’ have  problems with people wandering into the yard where we were living.  But in a public campground one doesn’t have that luxury and a little privacy is a good thing.

If you are interested in meeting up with us, just drop me a note, or comment to any post and I’ll make arrangements with you personally.  Peg & I are always glad to meet new friends-we’ve-never-met-before!  So, don’t hesitate. And just understand that we just take our privacy and security seriously.  Thanks for understanding.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.


8 thoughts on “Reconceptualizing my Stomach

  1. Funny that you talk about really good POLISH food, I found Polish sausage like I grew up with (lots of Garlic & pepper ) in Shipshewana, In. But, back on subject. When we attended the Six state rally in Conroe, Tx, I usually get a hug from Janet at her booth (Almost Heaven Microfiber). I asked Duane, her husband, “where’s Janet?” She was in the next booth LOST 60# since I last saw her. Well I weighed 270#, So I was interested in what she did to lose that much in the last 6 months. Medifast Program. I signed up, and started eating healthier October 19 and have lost 28# as of today, Dec 5.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for you Rich! weight loss is tough.
      The only thing that has really worked for me in the past is the hi-protein / lo-carb approach.
      But I’m working on just cutting portions.
      I have noticed that I have been eating less when I stick with the multiple meal program though… that does seem to help.


  2. If you can make your snacks be small portions of protein and some veg it will help–a deviled egg & some zucchini slices, one chicken tender and a handful of baby carrots, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, Peter. Remember me? lol I have been very hit and miss on the blog scene but have been trying to catch up a bit as I have time. I’m glad you are back on the road to good health and in the RV soon and know your recent medical challenges have been frustrating to both of you. Best wishes on your new eating plan. My hubby really surprised me back in early October when he said that he wanted to go on my low-carb (semi clean eating) diet, and so far, he has done fairly good on it. The biggest change for him was eating more often during the day to quit eating such huge meals at lunch and dinner. He chose to skip breakfast every day, but now he eats breakfast almost every day here at home. If he doesn’t have time, he has either Atkins or Quest bars, both low-carb, to eat at work, along with some nuts that he also keeps there. Eating those necessary snacks has been the biggest issue for him, mainly because he gets busy at work and forgets to eat his snack at mid-morning or mid-afternoon to help keep blood sugar more stable. Just here to give you a word of encouragement on your new journey. I also have found a couple of very good websites that have helped me to find some nice varieties in foods, too. If you want those, I will send them to you… mostly low-carb and gluten-free recipes but really, really good. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course I remember you — thought o be honest with you being so quiet I wasn’t sure if I had offended in some way — or (LOL) if you only read blogs about Texas 🙂

      I almost NEVER used to eat breakfast —until I retired. Then with Peggy home during the day and being much more sensitive to not eating I gradually started.

      I have not been very good with family around and visiting friends in town — I need to get these new diet plans set into HABITS so that I don’t deviate so easily when I’m with other people — but that’s a lifestyle change and those things do take time.

      We did the high protein / low carb thing very successfully for a while (a few years ago) and I need to get back to that.

      The nurse had said that I should try eating some protein within 1/2 hour of rising in the morning — and THAT is the hardest thing for me to do — even something like hard boiled eggs which can’t possibly be beaten in terms of how easy they are to peel and pop in your mouth — but I just don’t think about them.

      It’s funny, for the last 30 years ever since I was first put on any kind of meds I always just took pills 1X per day and managed all right just ‘remembering to do it.’ Now that I have to take something 3X per day I have resorted to using my smart phone to set 3 daily alarms. I don’t forget and I take them at the right time. I have been thinking of adding a 4th alarm to remind me to eat that first ‘meal’ of the day and that may be the only way I remember.

      I’m still having problems THINKING about COOKING in terms of the new diet. It’s just so natural to make a ‘whole’ meal. And even my ‘whole’ meals were never all that whole — I never made lots of items. Usually just a protein and either a veg or a carb — not usually both — which isn’t good nutrition I know.

      I’m always open to new sources — so please let me know the websites.

      Looks like we’re headed EAST this year so we won’t be in your fair state, but we’ll get back there eventually.

      Good to hear your voice again. And take care. Also best of the holiday season to you and yours.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh dear, no, not mad at you or anyone else. It’s been a tough year, especially since September. Lost my little cousin at the end of October after her quick downturn. Sad, sad. Haven’t felt much like being social lately but sure I will snap out of the funk soon enough. The websites are “All Day I Dream About Food” and “I Breathe I’m Hungry.” I won’t post links in case WordPress might try to spam my comment, but they are very popular sites. Proteins are good for us “aging” folks, for sure. We make sure to have protein of some kind at every meal, too. The Quest bars help with that at times. Have fun when you finally hit the road again! We hope to head out after Christmas again this year ourselves.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sad about your cousin.
        And, it’s OK not to feel social for a time. I go through that regularly. I have limits of how much I can take of people which are easily reached. Just yesterday we visited with one of Peg’s former co-workers. She’s a wonderful person, but she talks fast like a machine-gun and never stops. After 90 minutes I was exhausted. All I wanted was silence.
        Thanks for the websites. I’ll check ‘em out.
        Agreed about the importance of protein.
        Even though my blog posts may seem like we are a week away, in fact we hope to leave tomorrow. Three multi-day stops along the way before we get to Ocala. And a couple nights with Uncle Wally. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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