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.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Playing With Hunger

As you can tell from the last few entries, I have rather ambivilant feelings about hunger. On the one hand, I blog at length about avoiding it: though meal spacing, excellent nutrition, and avoiding blood sugar games, I have controlled it pretty well so far. On the other hand, I talk about trying to live with a little more hunger, thinking that I will get more benefits from CR if I drop my calories a little lower, which will at this point require a little hunger from time to time.

In the post-CRS Conference universe, I'm feeling a funny kind of shift in my attitude towards CR. What started out as a fun roller coaster (complete with funky dips into ketosis when I went too low, entertaining clothes shopping adventures when I hit size two, etc.) is now turning into a long distance drive. I'm feeling a very "in it for the long haul" type of spirit, and it makes me want to experiment with some new ways of structuring my relationship with food.

The problem is, I'm so used to having basically whatever I want, whenever I want, that the idea of not having this or that is a little hard to get used to. Between my every five or six day eating out events and my meal spacing that kept me from being hungry even on a fairly low calorie (under 1000) day, I haven't felt like I was engaging in much self-denial at all. While I certainly ate differently, eschewing the pizza and bagels and margaritas and nachos and pasta and well you get the idea, it wasn't like I was walking around feeling hungry. Maybe right before lunch, but at any other time I would just eat, even if it was just eating lettuce. I do love lettuce...

It's not just about getting the maximum anti-aging benefits from CR. I have a feeling that on the other side of this whole hunger dilemma is that ethereal calm that I am questing after. Facing down the hardwiring that says "Oh, just go ahead and have a bite," seems like the only way to get to the mythical other side.

That's why I'm playing some games with hunger, testing the waters to see just what it does to me.

For years, I've been afraid of getting hungry, afraid that if I let m

[break, that was yesterday afternoon, now 5:30 this morning]

That's where I trailed off yesterday because VLC called and said I should meet her for coffee to a) get the report on her trip out to a far away hospital b) catch up on relevant gossip. So I did that... in a bizarre role reversal, I drank tea, she drank coffee. She had some funny stories.

[I was rambling on about hunger because I wasn't eating much in an effort to keep my calories down in anticipation of a fairly big dinner. So I ate leftover vegetables with my red pepper marinara sauce for breakfast, followed by an iced latte for lunch. By the time I wrote I was getting kinda hungry.]

Then I went to an early evening meeting. Then I went home to cook dinner for non-CR dinner company. I cooked two things I hadn't cooked before: let's call them, "Not So Creamy Cream of Broccoli Soup" and "fish."

Cream of Broccoli (not particularly creamy)
2 heads of broccoli
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups free range organic chicken broth
3 cups non-fat plain yogurt
lemon (juice thereof)
salt, pepper

Blend broccoli, garlic, and chicken broth in the food processor. Put in big pot, turn on heat, stir. Add yogurt gradually, stirring. Turn off heat, add lemon, pepper and salt to taste. Don't expect it to be creamy. If you want cream soups, go read someone else's blog.

Fish. I had never made fish before. I had made shrimp and scallops, but not fish. I had gotten some advice about some rather high calorie ways to serve it that sounded delicious, but I really wanted to keep the calories to the fish itself, not add to. So the guy at the fish store said to coat it with olive oil spray, garlic, salt, and pepper and lemon juice, bake at 375 for 15 - 20 mins, and cover with fresh lemon juice. I did, and it was delicious. The cat went crazy. I gave him a few bites.

Drove to Center City to pick up my mother who teaches at night and had left her car at home on her most recent work trip.

I am continuing with the post I had started to write earlier... not even cleaning up the transition, because I want to have a record of exactly what I was thinking yesterday.

"On the other side of this hunger dilemma is that ethereal calm I am questing after."

Does that make sense?

I was trying to say that for years I was afraid that if I let myself get too hungry, I'd do something stupid. You know how all those books say "Don't let yourself get too hungry." Eat something you don't particularly want, at a time when you don't particularly want it, just so that you won't be hungry.

What exactly I was expecting to happen if I got hungry is beyond me... I mean, I never had one of those bad relationships with food where I would go nuts and eat myself into oblivion. The worst thing I'd ever do was eat a bagel with cream cheese.

CR = cure for anxiety, for me. The relationship between CR and anxiety is linear... the more I cut my calories, the less anxious I feel. At some point (and it's not a ketogenic state, which is another drug in itself, I'm always way over 10% carbs) the lack of anxiety starts to transcend just not being anxious and turn into a bit of that ethereal calm that I'm looking for. But just a drop, just a little peek at another way of feeling.

I think it's going to take more CR to get there. And I have lots of reasons for wanting to be there: not just the absence of feeing bad, but the presence of more focus, more power, etc.

I might need all that stuff, you know.


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