Am I Over Thinking Food? (Or I Go Paleo. Sorta Kinda.)

So, you might have noticed I’m super hard on myself and I tend to over think absolutely everything.

And all of this thinking? Means it’s difficult for me to make a decision. Because there are so many possibilities.

And possibilities? Means I could be wrong. The “what ifs” and the possibilities can make you mad if you’re not careful —  particularly if you also happen to be a perfectionist — because you want to make THE PERFECT CHOICE.

But what is perfect?

Can I even define THAT?

This fascination with possibilities combined with a need for perfection has manifested itself in some problematic ways for me over the years.

For example?

I’ve messed with my “diet” 92 different times.

I bought into the low fat craze.  And the low carb craze. And the starve-yourself-on-25-points-a-day Weight Watchers craze.

Then when I found myself miserable, obsessed, and heavier than I was before I started worrying about any of it, I threw it all out the window and just ate what felt good to my body — and didn’t feel like excess or depravation. I found that over time the excess weight just naturally came off when I stopped over thinking it.

But all of this “listening to my body” has meant that my weight fluctuates within a small range constantly throughout the year. And this makes me crazy. Because I can’t shut off my head, and because I absolutely need to figure everything out, I recently decided it was time to check my “go with what feels good” against some nutrition theories. I wanted to see if I could stop this cycle of OHMIGODIHATEMYJEANSANDMYLIFE to EVERYTHINGISAMAZINGIAMWONDERFUL every six months or so.

I started doing research on the Indian philosophy of Ayurveda as well as the blood type diet to see if my cravings were aligned with those philosophies. Then I read up on the Paleo Diet because it was very similar to the diet recommended for my O+ blood.

And here’s what I discovered.

Most of my cravings were spot on. My body was actually leading me in the right direction. My cravings, the overlap of the Ayurvedic diet and my blood type diet, and the cravings I had as a kid are all fairly well aligned with one another. It turns out I probably had it right when I was a kid and not worrying about how I looked.

What I needed then is what I still need today: rigorous exercise, tons of fruit and vegetables, and a lot of protein.

The reason I haven’t gone fully Paleo or anything else is that I recognize the danger for me in adopting an extreme position. In the first few weeks of my research, I caught myself starting to worry about going out to dinner with friends. I would look at menus in advance to make sure the offerings were in line with my new eating habits. I was starting to get irritable, and I was telling my body what it needed instead of calming down and listening to it, so I had to take a step back from the “perfect” ledge.

So basically after all of my research, I have decreased salt, gluten, cheese, and sugar, but I’m not cutting anything out completely that I really, really like.

Because truth be told?

I’d rather die than forsake my whole milk lattes.

So anyway, I’m decreasing some stuff and I’m also changing the ratios of the things on my plate.

And now my Mexican food looks more like this:

Healthy Nachos from Dogs Dishes and Decor

These “nachos” are primarily comprised of oven roasted vegetables, homemade salsa, and hormone free chicken cooked in lime juice and jalapeños, served with flax seed tortilla chips, a dollop of refried black beans, and a bit of cheddar jack cheese.

Than this:

Big Juan on Dogs Dishes and Decor

This was Big Juan. My San Diego skiing buddies and I ate him at Big Bear last spring. He epitomized excess. And he was delicious.

There’s still room in my life for a bit of Big Juan every once in a while, though, because life is just too short for too many rules.

New thing I’m over-thinking now? Is that maybe my body doesn’t really want to lose that seven pounds I think it should and that’s why it keeps coming back….

Or… it could be that the weight tends to fluctuate with my erratic work schedule so it could just be stress screwing with my metabolism…


Please shut off my head.

If you want to read more about Ayurveda, you can check out Deepak Chopra’s site here. The test to determine your type is here.

For information on the blood type diet, check out Dr. D’Adamo’s site, and for information on the Paleo diet, see Dr. Loren Cordain’s site here.