Saturday, March 21, 2015

Food Addiction, part 4 - from the book Food Junkies- Stopping the food- Wheat

Whole 13th chapter- folded over!
Food Addiction, part 4 - my thoughts on chapter 13 from the book Food Junkies, by Vera Tarman, MD.

 Chapter 13, Stopping the Food.  Wheat

This post is dedicated to those who are afraid of not eating a "food group". Because I was terrified of it. Until tried it. n =1 . If you can eat wheat, grains, your precious oatmeal in a mason jar...yayyyy you. Some of us cannot. That is okay.  Do what makes you feel good.

When I have a paperback book and something really pops off the page, I fold over the corner.

(Yes, I know that bugs some people, get over it, my book, -  my DEAL, ;)  LOL!)

Quotes from the book: Food Junkies- chapter 13

"..The first step in recovery is to eliminate the drug causing the addiction"

"The first task is to identify which foods spark the addictive path ways. Sugar leads the list"

"... people are less likely to identify  flour, especially in its "healthy" disguises, such as whole-wheat pasta or multi-grain breads, as a danger. "

My story: I'll never forget the moment I finally accepted wheat was a trigger. 

When I went through my 70 pound weight loss in May 2011, I accepted sugar as a trigger. And yes, I would have to stop eating it. I knew it deep inside.  No problem.

It took 6-8 weeks off sugar for the brain clarity to come back. Early July 2011, I was making a cauliflower pizza crust as part of my lean and green meal. (*TSFL- Medifast protocol- hey, paleo peeps, I  had to start somewhere!)

 It took a clear brain and a lot of honesty.

So is it the pasta sauce?  No.
 The cheese? No, I did binge on cheese, but this time around, it wasn't triggering.
The toppings? No, I did binge on pepperoni, but it was not triggering this time around.
The crust... was it the sugar? Maybe, heck, I binged a lot on bread, every.single.time.
The crust... was it the wheat. Oh! 

The counselor told me sugar AND WHEAT were like allergies to me. Winner, Winner, Pizza dinner!
Moderating grains and sugars (Left), No Grains No Sugars (right)

Yeah, so I grabbed the kitchen counter, all my past binge memories flew around in my head and I nearly passed out. I got the cauliflower pizza crust in the oven. Happy, sad, acceptance, glad to be out of my own way. Whew!   *I traded up all my gluten containing Medifast packets and bars that week.

 * Note, I transitioned off the Medifast in 2012 to 2013 and onto a Paleo/ Modified AIP for long term food sobriety.*

Better late than never. I'm still standing. I had to forgive myself for not listening to my counselors advice. 8 years prior. "Sugars and grains are like allergies for you. You may want to stop eating them. Many people eliminate wheat and sugars and are fine"

Here's what's working for me now:

0. The wisdom to do what I need to do for myself
1. Not eating any grains
2. Not eating processed sugars
3. Accepting that those foods are like an allergy or drug for me.
4.  Eating from a Paleo-ish , low carb, higher natural fat, food template for good gut and brain health
5. Not blaming myself, but finding what keeps my blood work the best. hs-CRP, glucose

Here's what didn't work in the past:

0. Letting fear rule and doing what worked for other people, following lemmings over a cliff.
1. Eating lots and lots of whole grains: toaster waffles, kashi cereal, oatmeal(!), Fiber One (aka- colon blow!) See the video : Colon Blow from Saturday Night Live
2. Eating lots of candy, but only in 1 or 2 WW point quantities ( binge trigger always- 10- 20 points!)
3. Not accepting that it's a brain chemistry thing,that I was born this way.
4. Eating lots of WW, Lean Cuisine, and Healthy Choice meals. Oh, me. Low fat, high carb.
5. Blaming myself for not points counting hard or well enough.

Who knew that getting rid of a few foods would lead to such great results. People are so afraid of "eliminating a food group".  I know, I was one of them, packing back those healthy whole grains and afraid I'd binge if I abstained. Right!  Have another look at the colon blow video......

I was queen of the binge eating grains!!! I did end up apologizing to my family for scaring them that I was going to wind up eating myself to death. Sigh. Better late than never. What didn't kill me made me stronger.

 Good thing I got out of my own faulty thinking on that one. 

Super glad that Dr. Tarman wrote about grains in her book.  I suspect I'm not alone. I feel so much better now. 

Hey, is Katie still reading this blog? Because my cats seem to think that books are interesting, too. Sometimes the tortitude gets to be too much at my house. ;)

Folded down book pages & tortoiseshell cats


  1. Love this: The wisdom to do what I need to do for myself


    So many people refuse to really do the hard work, look at themselves, and figure out what the best path is for their success. They want quick fixes, to copy someone else's success, etc. In the end, it's hard work and self-awareness and a dedication to doing what's right for you!

    Good vibes and continued good health!

    1. Yes, Jeanette. Honesty, self care, self action. I wanted to believe the moderation group because it kept my binge brain and my food addiction alive. I could cop out easily. Never easy, always worth it. That's why no amount of shaming could turn my titanic around.

      I had to be ready to do the work and get super honest with myself. And forgive myself , too. Now that I understand my genetics better (23nme) I understand why I have to be tough and not moderate. It's either that or fall into a bag of jelly beans. I'll pick abstinence, it is sweeter. :)

      Thanks for stopping by the blog.

  2. Karen another great blog. I've read that book as well and it's fascinating. It's very subtle to me - the differences between BED, orthorexia, exercise bulimia and food addiction - the idea that the treatments are not the same. It's been a real wake up call for me that not only do I need to treat myself as an addict, but also deal with the BED and that well meaning people have the wrong answers for a person who is dealing with both. What has ultimately worked for me to finally be rid of BED is eliminating NUTS and grains/legumes of any kind, including quinoa, brown rice, beans, etc. I had already eliminated wheat, sugar, and dairy for years, but that wasn't enough.

    The thing that I'm still not quite done with is emotional overeating, which I find I'm still doing at dinner time.

    I guess that's the last layer of the onion for me.

    Anyway, great post and great book!

    1. Thank you, mandelovich! Yeah, I have/had both things, too, I believe. Once I got off the grains, I had about 2 years of dealing with binge urges, withdrawls from things like nuts.

      Nuts were the last food items that I removed because they were gray zone. Or so I thought. Once I realized that all of my headaches went away without nuts... well, glad to get both binge urges and the inflammation gone. And no, even raw nuts were triggers (Omega 6's?)

      Glad you are n=1, my friend. :) Here's to learning non food fixes. Tough stuff, but always worth it. :) Onward!

  3. I used HCG Protocol to lose weight the second time around. It's very low carb. The one good thing from the very low calorie/carb/fat menu...It made me take notice of how much better I did without the wheat and processed carbs. The one bad thing (besides the diet itself), it took me a long time to listen to my own thoughts and not other people's thoughts on ditching the grains.

    1. Running stitches, very very interesting- was it injection HCG or was pill or liquid? I occasionally run into real life people where it worked, they regained, then had to lose a different way this time around.

      Yeah, being influenced on other people's thoughts. I recently tried Intermittent fasting. I had a thousand other people's thoughts in my head. About wheat and grains, too. Hard to get a quiet place to do the work, but essential. Thanks for stopping by the blog.

  4. Key Point - what's working ........ "Eating from a Paleo-ish , low carb, higher natural fat, food template for good gut and brain health

    YES definitely a winning point !

    All the best Jan

    1. Yes, Jan! Glad you and Eddie are part of the tribe, world wide. The moment I heard this would be a grass roots message- organically grown (pun!) in communities.... I was hooked. Yeah, not only could get what I wanted out of my health, but I could be a tiny part of change and change management in my family and for the people around me.

      Yeah, winning point. So fun to feel a part of it, far or near. Thanks for stopping by the blog... :)

  5. Sometimes I wonder how weird people think I am, not eating grains... but I know that by eliminating them has been the single best thing I have ever done for my health. Taking away that choice - bread, pasta, pastry etc. - has been life changing. Great for those who can 'eat everything in moderation' but I believe most overweight people can't eat that way.

    1. Lynda, if people only knew. How good it tasted, how little scale variance (yes, always some- I have my winter and summer weights-normal to pivot), how much easier it is to not binge eat any more. Even if I wanted to many evenings, I'm so full from a no grains meal, that switch is off, (most nights, not all but most).

      Once you've lived the life for a while, you couldn't pay me to go back... LOL I get a discount to say at a normal weight for my health insurance. At this point, if I got a discount for eating low fat, WW style, I'd pay to eat my Paleo foods. So ironic!!!

      With the current state of the SAD diet, it's no wonder the rates of regain are so high after loss- that hormonal system will always be in a fat storage mode. It makes me sad, but glad that for some of us there's a tasty energy providing food.

      Thank you, Lynda for being a voice in the no grains movement. A podcast I listen to says "part of the tribe, world wide' Indeed!

  6. Hey Karen! I ordered this book and it came in today. I also had to put a big sticky over the picture...ha! Looking forward to reading it. I also ordered Gretchen Rubin's new book. Thanks for all your recommendations along the way! I'm soaking up the knowledge to find what works for me.