Monday, April 29, 2013

Having my Family Dinner and Not Eating it Too.

As a food addict I often exclude wheat and sugar as they are associated with overeating.  As I work on being good to myself and providing for my sister (I am also her legal guardian) I often look for great alternatives.  A few years ago I discovered the world of food blogs (it was not good for my eating plan, I had given up Food TV, Food magazines and bought fewer cookbooks)...and then I find more food to ogle, drool over and dream of cooking.  One of the blogs I found and grew to love was "Gluten Free Girl" then it became "Gluten Free Girl and the Chef" and then they had Lucy and I could not resist.  Honesty, stories of friends, family, life on MY was too good to be true and it still is.  Tomorrow when I return home I hope to find, this: I will be cooking from it. The best thing is that there will be ideas and recipes I can use on my abstinent food plan. I found a great salad dressing in her first book, wonderful Pizza ideas from the 2nd and I am sure more from this one.

My family who is mostly just my sister and me do not have the usual dinners most families do.   I have mostly worked odd hours, so dinner time becomes a solo event for all of us.  I love the times best though when the instances of my closer family members join in, or my farther away family members come to the Island.  Food always draws us together.  We all have fond food memories and a fondness for food.  Many of my siblings are good cooks and one sister cooks professionally.

My mother cooked mostly from scatch from the 40's to late 70's.  I know my love and interest grew from those days.  Sniffing out all the wonderful smells from the kitchen and looking forward to particular favorites were a part of life.  Weekday family dinners together were unusual but I looked forward to the weekend dinners, where most of the time all of us ate together.  My mother was different though because she fed us in shifts. She said my Dad was tired from a long day of commuting and needed quiet so she fed him last and alone, just with her. I think it was because she wanted him to herself.  Aside from this quirk I learned real food was the best. Even when family members are eating solo the food is often cooked together.

I have always loved to cook.  My mother ran her kitchen and never let us in (well once she let me make muffins after I learned in Home Ec)  Since then I have cooked from scratch, baked bread, canned, made unusual dishes and am always on the lookout for new and unusual ideas around food.  I found some of these ideas in both of Shauna's books so I am looking forward to her new one.  When it arrives (after I peruse) -it will be the book on the special book holder in front of the other books.  I will be truly excited to have another one from Shauna and her Chef.  This book will have stories and ideas and recipes and be filled with Joy, because the Ahrens are that way.

To fulfill my cooking and feeding need I cook on my weekends.  I usually cook a few meals to get us through the week, so usually at least one day a week I am in a cooking frenzy.  My son and his girlfriend some by to see what I have made.  Our roommate checks in for a taste.  My son in law may be over helping with some project and has samples and takes some home to my daughter. The house is filled with a variety of foods to sample and then store away for a working woman and her family.  It may be only once or twice a week but when we cook, we cook!  And this week we will be cooking from this

Thank you Shauna, Danny and Lucy.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Al Rocker

I saw a spot today about Al Rocker and his weight loss. He had gastric bypass and still was struggling. He realized that it is like an addiction and that he has to be digillent. I feel like saying "duh" not to be disrespectful because I know the struggle so well....just because I see how obvious it is- yet it takes more than merely seeing the truth- you have to fight it. And as anyone who has struggled with this addiction would say- all the other addictions have one good point;  you can give them up totally, but with food you still have to eat. That means the trigger is there everytime you need to eat.

The cycles, problems, reasons, things you are hoping to bury are the same with all addictions with minor variations for all addicts when it comes to their story. We all have tried many different ways but it seems to me food addicts have too many different theories and ideas to choose from it can be conflicting and overwhelming. For many it can be a lifetime struggle to find the right way that works...and by working that does not mean losing the weight - most have done it many times.

I can say for me I will lose weight and then forget I am different- I forget I can gain it back, losing it did not make me different, everything is not solved.  I am still. even when thin, ~ a food addict. Just like an alcoholic I am forever a foodaholic. I just can not totally give up food. I have to learn other ways. I have to keep exercising- everyone should - but I HAVE to. I have to pay attention to what I eat, how much, how often, is it the right thing, am I really hungry or I am sad, lonely, bored, ashamed, miserable, happy, celebrating, brooding or just not feeling right? I have to be aware. And like any addict I need the 12 steps, I need to work on the program.

Friday, March 26, 2010

How to get unstuck..That is the question.

So much has happened since I last wrote it would take a years worth of blogs to catch up. Hmmm guess that is why blogging on a regular schedule is a good where to start?

Maybe a good old fashioned outline?

I. Reasons Blog was started in the first place
A. To write about FAA
B. To incorporate FAA with my life and passions

II. Reasons I have not followed through
A. Life is Crazy
B. I am inconsistent.

III. Reasons to get back to writing
A. To keep track of life and FAA
B. To be consistent.

Conclusions: I do have something to say will just have to get started again.

Friday, June 19, 2009

We are in this together

12 step programs are becoming a part of my family...I am exuberant right now, although I know there more than likely will be more tough times ahead I also feel there is soooo much hope.

My son is the shining example, he has been involved in AA for a long time. He has taught me and shown me the way. That is partly why I chose FAA for me. Now my daughter who has her own addiction: different from mine, different from my son's and a hard one to beat, has just completed her 2nd meeting at GA. That is Gamblers Anonymous to any one who does not know the lingo. The toughest addiction of them all. I am bursting with pride right now. She seems totally sincere and so serious. Just as my son's recovery has taught and inspired me, my daughter, I know will be doing the same. I hate the pain my children have suffered. I know my wounded side has contributed; my own sickness insecurity, suffering in turn caused them suffering but it is a chain that can be broken. There is always hope, we are all in this together and I know we can fight it together as well.

I joined her at a meeting last night and it is apparent to me the gamblers have suffered greatly and this suffering has taught them; those who make it, to be even stronger. These people’s stories are painful, long suffering and scary. Their recovery in turn is strong and their hope even stronger. They acquire this from fellow members, often more of a family than their own family. They all need each other and they know it like no other addiction sufferers.

Alcohol and drug addiction happened due to the nature of the product, but a lot of gambling addiction is a planned, carefully orchestrated addiction, who’s “pushers” have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on experts in the field of Psychology of the mind to program these places and their machines to do something to the brain that mesmerizes and transfixes the addict’s minds beyond normal attraction.

Since I am not a gambler I do not understand it to any extent, other than from an addict’s perspective. I do not want to sound as if I am speaking from experience because that would be unfair to those who do live in the addiction. I only listened and learned and came out with more understanding.

I do know they have rules of what not to do to quell the impulse and that is the same for a food addict. I know support and a sponsor are necessary and I also learned most of all that giving service, helping others new in the program is the greatest reward of all.

It definitely made me rethink my commitment to all the tools in my program too. I knew I was going to learn from this experience and know that I will be giving my daughter all the love and support I can.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Doing it Their way and My Way.

The Pacific Northwest is having some beautiful weather lately…and I am enjoying it. This lovley weather means I can continue to do a lot of work outside. My yard is too big for someone who is only home on the weekends, so one of the chores is always trying to find ways to make it as low maintenance as possible.

In between the yard work I was cooking a turkey," Cooks Illustrated" style. I brined it the night before, and cooked it at 425 with celery, onions, carrots & the Simon and Garfunkel herbs. Broth is used on the bottom of the roasting pan since the heat is so high. This method results in a beautiful dark colored yet moist bird. It also makes a tasteful broth form the herbs and vegetables you throw in. The same evening all the bones, broth, vegetables and herbs go in the crock pot and that amazing broth is born. My sister says she loves that part because she can smell it in her bedroom all night long.

So there I was between yard work (and cleaning some spots on the carpet)- doing turkey; breaking it down soon after it was cooked. I was sitting with a kitchen scale weighing out 4 oz portions. These are for my eating plan I said I would to talk about. One of the rules is to plan ahead and to weigh and measure all of your food. Becoming abstinent from sugar, flour, wheat and following the Food Addicts Anonymous Food plan is the path to recovery from the physical aspect of the disease of food addiction. Totally eliminating these substances from our bodies will enable us to live relatively free of cravings and will allow us to focus on the other areas of our recovery.

When I first heard of this, it sounded a bit odd to me. Eliminate whole wheat? That is supposed to be good for you. A food addict? But you have to eat somehow. I thought about it for a couple months and then in December 2007 I started to slowly cut out most caffeine as a start. I tried the food plan thinking it couldn’t hurt and thought if I do not agree I can always stop eating this way. So when I started, I admit, I was not totally committed. Part of the last sentence certainly sounded wonderful; “to live free of cravings”. Ah - that is the freedom I wanted.

There is more to abstinence than the food….it is also a 12 step program. I had a positive outlook on that one – it was working quite well for my son who was in an AA program. He had taught me some of the tools and many of the ideas of this program. Right away I want to state for any FAA people especially, that this blog will not be about being perfect in abstinence- you may get that from the first post- it is going to be talking about me continuing to use the program as best I can using most of tools I can most of the time while learning how much other food I can incorporate into my life. (NOT necessarily eating it- just being around it) I may be successful or the idea could turn into a total flop. A strict FAA person would not recommend it. I will show my reasons for FAA’s thinking and the reasons for mine and promise to be honest with the outcome if I am wrong I will admit my error. If it works for me I still will not recommend it. FAA guidelines should be the rule.

I want to live a full tasteful and exciting life while maintaining a healthy weight. I found that the methods FAA present work well to minimize cravings. I feel much more in control of binging. I feel satisfied most of the time. I have lost weight.

I do not want to have my cake and eat it too, I just want to have my cake and NOT eat it too.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Can being in a FAA program and Food Co-exsist?

How does a food loving, now member of FAA deal with life: eating, feeding, sharing and living with food and still remain true to the required food plan. Is it possible?

I have been too much into food lately- not so much eating it- although I have not been as strict. I have not lost any more weight for over five months now. Nor have I gained any. I still have at least 40 to go though. It is mostly not working out consistently – or enough . I do think summer will help; I usually get inspired with Summer. But about being into the food- as you may know or not- I often joke about food porn etc…how I had to cut out reading cookbooks so much and watching Food Network. Now it is food blogs that has me spellbound – and a couple in particular. They both have books out too. They write wonderful stories intertwined with recipes and showered with a love for life, my favorite aspect of it all. Damn, they are just plain - inspiring!

The point to this is I am realizing I love to cook for people- not that I do not like finding tasty ways to make my food program more racy/tasty; but even if it is something I can not have- if it sounds like something interesting to make and something people will love I can not resist and I know it is part of me I can not ignore. This is what I feel they have done for me- it was slowly coming anyway- the memory of loving to make bread and my new forays into making Rustic artisan bread, always cooking up food for my sister and son on my weekends, during the week for *“The Tribe”.

One other thing, I read an article yesterday about too much deprivation and how it can thwart you more than you know – it made sense. So I made the Artisan bread and I did not eat any but I shared with my brother and Sister in law who said they enjoyed it.

I think cooking is as spiritual and nurturing just as gardening is – so I am going to let it flow unless I see it becomes a problem for me and my abstinence. I always remember the Firefighter friend and a fiend for my home made cinnamon rolls who always joked that he worked out all the time to eat- not that I could ever get to the point of working our enough to eat cinnamon rolls. Working out is so good for you – so whatever excuse you give, is worth it. So this revelation and reading blogs urged my soul to write a blog too. I will write of food, what works for abstinence, gardens, family, pets and love of life.

My next chapter will explain FAA, abstinence and how I became involved.

* (I refer to my family I live with part time- Daughter and her guy and my Grandkids as the TRIBE).