April's CR Diary

A diary of a 30 year old woman following CRON, or Caloric Restriction with Optimal Nutrition, for health and life extension.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Really Hot Vegetables

My step-brother and sister-in-law give me the best presents. They gave me this fabulous stove top wok that goes straight on the burner. Combined with my new gas stove, it's a sizzling combination.

Last night I had my mother over for dinner in the new apartment. She's heading in the direction of CR herself, so she's always happy to eat whatever vegetable concoction I sizzle up. I sizzled the broccoli crowns in one tablespoon of garlic infused olive oil, then added chopped red peppers, along with four tablespoons of my new roasted red pepper salad dressing, a total of 140 calories in the four tablespoons, made with canola oil. That stuff is so yummy! (I need suggestions for new words to describe food: I think I have exhausted the possibilities of "yummy" "delicious" and "fabulous.") Finally, I added a pint of grape tomatoes, and stirred it all together until some of the tomatoes popped, making a savory (new word!) broth. We ate out of paper bowls as the dishes are not yet unpacked. I did manage to unpack two spoons, but only one fork, so I gave my mother the fork in deference to her planetary seniority.

[Bizarre tangent: I think that we in the CRON community should start to refer to chronological age as "planetary seniority." "Age" has so many silly negative connotations in our youth obsessed culture, and most of those, like frailty and boringness, don't apply to us. So we should wear our planetary seniority with pride. Thoughts?]

She also brought over some pieces of seseme bread that she had taken to a potluck at her church (Oh, did I mention that we got invited to do coffee hour again? Guess they liked the Body of Christ covered in pesto!). I ate about a slice worth of the bread. Dr. Walford's software says that a slice of sourdough bread has 68 calories. That sounds awful low to me. I think I'll call it 100 for the amount I ate. The veggie dish was at most 400 total, 200 per serving. I was at 560 before the start of the meal (I forgot to mention in yesterday's entry that I had a cafe au lait with skim milk, 80 cals on that), so even with the two glasses of wine I had, the day was at most 1030.

We chatted about how happy we are with our food, and how odd it seems that anyone could feel deprived when eating such fantastic vegetables. I felt really good about finding a source of fat that I actually like. There's been talk on the list about fat improving the absorption of vegetables, so if I can eat them together that would be good.

CRON is such common sense... give your body what it needs, don't give it what it doesn't need. I think that will become my rant/mantra. It's sad how people in North America have such a distorted perception of food that they think CRON folks are freaks. What could be more reasonable than feeding yourself healthy food, in only the amounts you need, not to excess? When I go to the gas station, I put exactly the amount of gas in the car that it needs. I don't put a lot of other stuff in there, and I don't keep filling up the tank after it's full. Maybe people need a sign that says, "Do not top off" on the fridge.

As you can see from even the quickest reading of my blog, I'm far from perfect. I go over target some days, I eat silly things that aren't the best use of calories. But I notice that I feel better on days when I hit my calorie target and get all my RDAs. And I certainly feel better now that I did before I started CR. The difference is unbelievable! Why would I want to eat a bunch of food I don't need?

This morning at about four I was reading a book called "Dieting with the Duchess" that Sarah, Duchess of York wrote with Weight Watchers. Men who have never had weight issues sometimes sneer at Weight Watchers, but it's a pretty good program, and emphasizes fruits and vegetables. It was also one of the first diet organizations to come out against the anti-fat craze. As I was reading the book, a line jumped out at me:

"Like most women, I would still like to lose a few more pounds."

That's Sarah talking.

It made me think about how completely my perspective and body image have changed since I started CR. I used to curse my curves, and the fact that others could eat all they wanted and stay skinny (like my college boyfriend who weighed 118 at 5' 9" and ate a diet of non-stop junk. Sausage rolls! As if!) while I seemed to gain weight easily eating the Standard American Diet. Now I realize what a blessing it is to have a slower metabolism, and how nice it is to be able to live in a body I like while eating fewer calories. My weight is still dropping, but it is slower now that I have lost all the extra weight. And unlike most women, I am not worried about it at all!

CR has made me think of weight in the opposite way from how I used to. People ask me how much more weight I'm planning to lose, and they may as well just push the "Play" button on my forehead, because they get the standard lecture on how CR is not about weight loss. How much will I weigh? I don't know. I know that I will keep pushing my calories as low as I can, and I will keep working to get optimal nutrition, even if I do go a little crazy and eat bread from time to time!

When I was in Vermont in July, one of my friends who hadn't seen me in a long time took me out to lunch at my favorite restaurant, the New England Culinary Institute. As I ate my little salad with real olive oil dressing and cup of soup, he remarked, "Your food anxiety is conspicuous in its absence." This is someone who knows me very well, and knew me at one of my pre-CR thinnest (though not healthiest... way stressed out!) and at my heaviest. He's right -- my food anxiety is gone. Unlike almost every American woman, I love my body. And I want to give it exactly what it needs to stay healthy for the next 100 years!


  • At 5:17 PM, Blogger Mary Robinson said…

    April - you are really getting into the Zen of CRON! Everything you said today shows that you really get it. The pleasure you take in healthy food. The confidence you have in your ability to make this work for you forever. The lessening of the issues of weight and body image.

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