I’m Such a (Book)Mooch

Yesterday a fun package came in the mail.

A Fun Package

Oooo I love packages! So what’s inside, what’s inside!?

Why it’s a book!

Intuitive Eating

Have you read Intuitive Eating? It quite literally saved my sanity early this year when I was having a tough time with food.

I’ve never really had a difficult relationship with food. I’ve never been a “dietier” per se, and have always known that it’s better to just live an active lifestyle with a regular diet full of the whole foods – instead of eating diet foods, avoiding treats and junk food for a short period of time while you’re “on a diet” to lose weight. Once I figured out the math behind losing weight (calories in < calories out) weight loss came pretty easily. I counted calories to lose weight but what it boiled down to was smaller portions, not going back for seconds and cutting out mindless eating combined with regular exercise. What you don’t find out until after you’ve lost a significant amount of weight (35 lbs qualifies as significant for me) is that maintaining your weight can almost be harder than losing it in the first place.

Last year at this time I’d reached the weight I’d dreamed of for almost 15 years. I'd run my marathon. Awesome! But now what? I was out of goals to work toward and felt like I had nothing exciting to look forward to anymore. I found myself turning to food for excitement and fun. I would restrict and "be good" during the week and then overeat – and as horribly embarrassed as I am to write it: binge on the weekends. Seriously, I want to backspace that last sentence right out but I'm leaving it in because I know now that I'm not alone. I sure felt alone back then though. "Back then" being only 9 short months ago.

I honestly thought I was losing my mind and that I was heading for an eating disorder. I felt like it was almost completely out of my control. Unable to stop eating treats once I finally let myself have even one. I would get caught in that “well, I’ve blown it, might as well go nuts now” mentality. I would feel so guilty come Monday that I would restrict calories all week long to feel like I was making up for what I did over the weekend. I would continue restricting calories for the second half of the week to save up calories so I could splurge the following weekend. But an innocent splurge would almost always turn into eating so much of some otherwise forbidden food that I would reach the point where I felt sick – both physically and mentally. This restricting and binging cycle allowed me to maintain my weight but it did a real number on me from a psychological stand point.

It was nasty cycle. I realized soon that this was not the way I wanted to live. I had to get to the bottom of what was going on, I'd never experienced anything like this before. I knew it had to be possible to have a healthy relationship with food and also maintain my happy, healthy weight. These things couldn't be mutually exclusive!

Enter: Intuitive Eating. I wasn't blogging when I read this book but I have to give it a shout out because it truly turned things around for me. It pulled from me from the vicious cycle I'd gotten myself into. I read this book feeling like it was written just for me! The book describes 10 principles toward eating intuitively and while I found value in all 10 principles the big ones for me we’re honoring my hunger and making peace with food.

I got Intuitive Eating from library earlier this year and didn’t buy it because I got everything I needed from it while I had it on loan. It showed up in mailbox yesterday through thanks to this awesome website called Bookmooch! It’s a site that allows you to mooch books for free from other people – provided you list some books you have and are willing to allow people to mooch from you. All you have to do is pay for shipping your own books to other people and they pay to ship to you. I love Bookmooch and it’s a great way to swap out books I’m done with and get new books I want without having to pay for them OR pay late fees at the library! SCORE! I’ve mooched a bunch of great books and have emptied my book shelves of books I’m done with too.

I’d had Intuitive Eating on my “wish list” for a while and I got an email just recently when someone listed it in their inventory. I logged in and snagged it immediately and it came yesterday. The arrival of it prompted some reflection and lead to this post today. I’m very glad I own it now, and I’m even more glad I didn’t have to pay for it! I want to be able to refer to it if I ever need a refresher and I want to be able to loan it out to my friends and family if they’d like to read it.

Today was supposed to be a juice day but I dawdled too long at the computer this morning and before I knew it I was really hungry. I decided to honor my hunger and eat a bowl of cereal NOW rather than spend a half hour start to finish on juicing.

I was excited to bust out the cacao nibs from yesterday!

Cacao Power!

Yesterday Averie left a comment saying that she found cacao nibs to be bitter, and I thought the same thing when I sampled them straight up.

Sprinkled on fruit cereal this morning though the sweetness from the fruit easily masked any bitterness and they gave the cereal a subtle chocolaty flavor with a very nice crunch! Plus I love that they made the cereal completely raw. (Unsweetened cocoa powder is not.)

Fruit Cereal with Cacao Nibs

This morning’s fruit cereal combo was a diced banana, the last beat up pear and three chopped medjool dates all coated in ground flax. Sprinkled with some hand crushed walnuts and some cacao nibs and topped with unsweetened vanilla hemp milk.

Medjool dates in fruit cereal? Bliss. PURE. BLISS! I expected the cacao nibs to be the star but those chewy sweet dates stole the show!

Later this morning I had a couple of almond butter stuffed dates before I headed out for a nice leisurely Sunday long run. Yes. More dates. I’m making up for lost time apparently.

Dates Stuffed with Almond Butter

I was going to run 7 miles but felt so good at the 3+ mile mark that I opted to go the long way and do 8 instead. I was back in just over an hour.

Lunch today was a no brainer! We’ve got salad leftover from last night’s birthday dinner making lunch easy peasy.

No Brainer

Red leaf, carrots, orange cherry tomatoes, green pepper, cukes, alfalfa sprouts and a sprinkle of raw hemp seeds too. Heather told me this morning that she sprinkles hemp seeds on salad, so that’s what I did with the ones I bought yesterday. You can see them in their untidy glory around the edges of the plate. Honestly I couldn’t even taste them. I sampled a small handful before I put them on the salad though and they had a nice nutty flavor.

We’re off now to a picnic with friends to say good-bye to summer and welcome the official arrival of the new season. Autumn is near!

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18 Responses

  1. I want to read that book! I’ll have to check out the bookmooch website! I just ordered Clean Food from the library! This is a great post!

  2. Glad you found the book such a help. I’m currently waiting for my copy to arrive and am hoping I can finally learn to eat in the right fashion. Like you used to be I’m a bit of an all or nothing eater (though I have been slowly improving over the years). I think I need to kick the diet mentality once and for all and really learn to listen to my hunger signals. Hoping my copy turns up in the next couple of days.

    Libby

  3. I just requested the book. You know, I don’t think there is enough time in the day to read all the books I keep reading about from all of you.

  4. Thanks for telling your story – I really feel like we’ve all been there. I’m currently in the middle of Intuitive Eatings (have been for a while – I really should finish it or start over). I’ve come a long way from where I used to be, but am still in a “saving calories” cycle for the weekends. Not that bad, but a little.

    Thanks for the book mooch website! Sounds really interesting!

  5. i was in the exact same place not too long ago too my dear – i even almost bought that book. a lot of my problems stemmed from personal issues/relationships in my life, which really makes food not the problem. it masks problems. i am learning that usually when i find myself out of control with food, its not food i am craving but a deeper sense of stability and control in my life.

    okay, that was deep. the point is i understand where you are coming from, appreciate you sharing and love you even more for it :)

  6. I have read that book. I really liked it and think that I haven’t quite got all of the principles down. It’s been very hard for me to “lose” the diet mentality and just honor my hunger. I feel a little lost right now, but I’ll never give up trying to help change my relationship with food. I believe that learning this way of eating is the final piece to the weight loss/maintenance puzzle! Hopefully, I’ll get it one day!

    Great job on your run!

  7. Ooohh thanks for link my dear and for addressing the bitter/raw nibs phenomenon. I honestly have only had them on medjools that were slathered in sunbutter and although they were a little bitter, they were do-able b/c of all the ummm….sugar in the dates and sunbuttah. But by themselves, they scare me off. So rather than “ruining” a smoothie, a lovely brekkie cereal you made (ground flax AND using up a beatup pear…priceless) by adding the bitter nibs, I just hold off. Now, I just may. Raw cocoa actually has so many benefits. I am trying to say that eating a form of chocolate has health benefits with a straight face, but it does :)

    Anyway, thank you for your honest unadulterated post about your eating issues from the past year. Glad the book helped beyond words. I’ve had books like that in my life, gosh, what a gift from above when that happens :)

    Anyway mamaW you’re the best and I hope your Sunday was speck-tack u lar. I went shopping and cooked a little and ran 5 miles to ghetto muzak on my ipod. All in all, a good day.
    :)
    xoxo

  8. p.s. I answered your question about GF oats on my bloggie comments, sorry forgot to private mail you and tell you that :) Darn blogger platform, a definite drawback. But I am wordpress challenged as I mentioned. Blonde, I guess :)

    http://loveveggiesandyoga.blogspot.com/2009/09/vegan-maple-nut-chocolate-oaties.html

  9. ok Alison, you sort of hit home for me. Some how i think we are long lost best friends. I feel “connected” to this post, because this is how i feel time and time again. As i’m typing, i’m really having a hard time expressing what i want to say, but let me tell you, you certainly have described me somewhat in how you used to be. I NEEED to pick up this book asap! Thank you thank you so much for opening my eyes girl! I can’t thank you enough.

    http://saladdiva.wordpress.com

  10. I would really love to read that book once I get down to my goal weight. I have had problems in the past with hyper focusing on calorie counting, etc. but in the end I just want to be happy and enjoy my food without worrying!

  11. I also have the Navitas raw cocoa nibs. So far I only like them blended in my green smoothies. The sweetness from the blended fruit in my smoothies takes the bitterness away from the nibs and you are left with a nice crunch that comes up through the straw!

    I added the raw nibs to some oats this morning with almond butter and pumpkin butter, It was OKAY! I didn’t want to waste it but definitely not something I’d do again.

    And I’ve seen people use the raw nibs in baking like chocolate chip cookies or banana bread with chocolate chips. Makes a nice combo with the other chocolate.

  12. alison,
    great post! I clicked on the 10 intuitive eating principles- very interesting. they are all things that I know but seeing them in a list sort of solidifies what i know and makes things more clear. so, thanks. anyway…. for some reason it will not allow me to accept your friend request?

  13. Is that same edition I just got? I can’t tell bc mine is on Kindle.

    I am still absorbing every little nuance of that book…you put ME on that path and it’s changed EVERYTHING.

    EVERYTHING

    it’s funny the waves of change we go thru.

    love your honesty chica.. there’s no other way to be HUH?

    I have bought cocoa beans and put them in dates….I love them that way and even eat them plain… I guess the bitter doesn’t bug me but I don’t “crave” them either.

    I guess the one thing I have gleaned from just reading Intuitive Eating is to LET GO…and it will happen with some consistency and some dedication to a balanced life.

    I had a peanut butter cookie today…AND green juice….AND salad…and not much else…plus dinner.

    I felt GREAT

    I have 10 “vanity” pounds to get rid of but I don’t make it rule my day anymore.
    I wanted to THANK you too for leading ME to this book

    xo hugs to you my friend

  14. Great post! I have read a lot about Intuitive Eating, and I definitely want to read it. And thanks for the info about Bookmooch; the site sounds great!

    I hope you had a nice weekend! Oh yes, and things got crazy, so still no juice… :( I feel bad… Oh well… Some day…

  15. You know, I’m kinda in the same place with my eating, where it’s suddenly gotten a little harder to have that one treat. I never made anything totally off limits, except bagels and cream cheese. Now I don’t even really want them.

    But those other things I used to be OK with in moderation — pizza, fries, etc — more often when I do have them, I overindulge. This just happened yesterday during the Steelers game, and I was sick until midnight!

    I’ll have to check out the book.

  16. I really enjoyed reading this post. It’s so refreshing to know that we are not alone with our food issues. Let’s be honest, would we blog about food if we did not have some sort of issue with it? I was really happy to read this post, because yep, I’ve been there. Been there, been there, been there. Maybe I should order this book.

  17. I’ve struggled with restricting and then binging too. It’s difficult to “even” things out once you’re on a roll. I try not to buy too many of my “trigger foods.” If they are in the house I’ll go crazy. Maybe that’s not the best approach though….. I may have to check out that book.
    -A

  18. I read Intuitive Eating last year! Good book although if I read it again today, I am sure I would take many more things from it since I am in a different place with my attitude towards food. KWIM?

    Love, love, love your honesty and can RELATE so much!

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