I'm Afraid of Pasta
Friday, September 25, 2009
and potatoes and cookies and jelly beans....This is not normal. A grown adult woman should not be afraid of some innocent refined carbohydrates but I am absolutely terrified of them. I can eat an entire box of macaroni and cheese all by myself. If a bag of potato chips is open its all over. I will be licking the crumbs off the ripped open bag and still be hungry. That is the problem. I could eat all those carbs and the thousands of calories that come with them but in a matter of hours I will be starving and have horrible heartburn.
Over the two years I have been doing SparkPeople I have learned some things. I do not buy potato chips or cookies. If I get a chance to buy Jelly Bellys which happens a few times a year I immediately come home and sort them into small 100 calorie portions so I do not sit there and eat the entire bag over the course of an afternoon. I will do the same in October when I get my annual bag of candy corn. Last year I bought the trick or treat pack with the little pre-packaged bundles of 10-11 pieces which work out to 50 calories each and fits the bill when I am searching for something sweet that will not push me over the edge.
If I am faced with pasta or potatoes I measure carefully so as not to cover my whole plate in yummy delicious refined carbohydrate goodness. I can eyeball a serving of green beans and if I am a little off it is no big deal Since a cup of green beans has about 40 calories. Besides green beans have lots of fiber. If I am a little off eyeballing the size of that mound of noodles I just put on my plate I could be off my magnitudes of a hundred calories or more and the impact on my blood sugar and my stomach is disastrous.
We had slightly cheesy whole wheat spirals last night as a bed for sautéed shrimp with peas and prosciutto. It was DELICIOUS, but I got out my measuring cups and carefully measured out a cup of pasta and a third of a cup of the meat and veggie mixture, and okay I scooped up two more shrimp. I love shrimp. My thought was that if I did not go overboard I would feel less awful later. I was wrong. I woke up this morning very early for me and could not go back to sleep because I was starving and had heartburn. I got up and ate. I still have heartburn. I probably ate too fast because I was so hungry which made the heartburn worse and it could easily be with me all day long.
My housemates think its very strange that I measure my food so I try not to be so obvious about it. I make my own breakfast in the morning and eat separately from everyone else so there are usually no comments about the fact that I measure out exactly one cup of cereal and one cup of soymilk. Last night when my hostess saw me get out my measuring cups and stand there in line with everyone else to serve myself she said. "Ooohhh, she's got her measuring cups!!! What? Did you gain an ounce?" It took me a second to respond because honestly my first instinct was to slap her, an instinct I have not given into since the third grade. I said "No, I just really love pasta and if I do not measure it carefully I will eat the whole pot." To which my friend had to explain to her other guest that I have lost quite a bit of weight "Using this online thing called SparkPeople."
In my harsher more obsessive moments it has occurred to me that the only people who really need the calories and carbohydrates concentrated in pasta are competitive athletes and possibly people who do some sort of manual labor. Most of us do not burn enough calories in our daily lives to need to eat up to 1.000 calories in a single meal which can easily happen when eating pasta. In reality I realize that every once in awhile maybe we all need to go a little overboard every once in a while. My hostess makes egg noodles as a side dish with chicken quite often and I take a small scoop and do not worry much about it. Between the chicken breast and the green beans or broccoli I usually get enough protein, fat and fiber to keep my blood sugar in check and ward off the heartburn that comes when my stomach is empty and my blood sugar is low. I avoid Italian restaurants like the plague. Sometimes just the sight of a commercial for one of the big Italian chains that are so popular here will give me heartburn.
I actually offered at one point this week to just make my own meals. Since our hostess is trapped on jury duty all week her friend who is staying with us has been making dinner. Since she does not know all of our eating habits that well most of what she has come up with has for one reason or another been a problem for me. I did not address that covering all the vegetables in butter triggers my lactose intolerance. I just ate, enjoyed the creamy sweetness and then suffered the stomach ache that followed in relative silence. She apologized for planning a beef dish before I even knew about it and actually went to the trouble to heat up leftovers for me from earlier in the week, which I thought was very sweet and actually turned out to be just right. When that happened though I suggested that it might be easier if she just plan whatever she likes for dinners and I will just prepare my own meals. I have been making my own breakfast the whole time and most days I make my own lunch too. Since I generally eat with everyone else my hostess goes to the trouble to make things I can eat but its is very restrictive and I feel bad that everyone else's diet is limited by my dietary issues. My solution was that at least as long as there are 6 or 7 people living here and the lady of the house is stuck in court every single day, all day long, that perhaps it would be easiest if I fend for myself thereby freeing up everyone else to do as they please as well. Of course, our cook was horribly offended by this concept and my suggestion has actually made things worse in the long run. I am officially not sure what to do.