Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Introduction to Plan of Eating Workshop

On January 26, 2013, NLI, the Northern Lights Intergroup, is holding a Plan of Eating workshop. This is a first draft of my opening statement as to the purpose and the essentials of my storey.
the opinions expressed here are the strictly the opinions of the speaker. Take what you want and leave the rest. These opinions do represent OA as a whole.

I have written this out to keep me on point, otherwise I would either miss pieces or go on for hours.

The way I look at obesity and overeating is it has three parts;
  • a physical component,
  • an emotional / mental / psychological portion, 
  • and a spiritual / philosophical / knowledge component. 
OA meetings help with the spiritual issues via the principals, forced integrity of practising abstinence,  the emotional / mental / psychological issues by exposing us to psychological strategies of others, and using several general strategies as part of the program. Today we are going to hear from a several people about the third part, the physical, their food programs or diets.

Later we will have time to ask questions and discuss how we handle the various issues / difficulties / situations / emotions we each face.

As I see it, we have three reduction choices:

  • we can adopt a plan of eating, 
  • learn about food and nutrition requirements enough to design our own plan, or 
  • pray for something to come to us, naturally.

I started with by adopting the gray sheet when I first came to the program, about 25 years ago. No sugar, no grains, a pound of meat each day, low fat, a raw veg and a cooked veg at each meal, 3 meals per day. Nothing but good living in between. Then on some days, I would only eat salads.  That took the weight off, but then came maintenance. I was working at a engineering lab, working on a masters, and attending OA. Slightly busy, OK. Then the work got seasonally sparse, so I had time to study OA. That worked for about 5 years, but then the work came back and it took me away from OA.

I gave up trying to follow the food plan rigidly, and the breads and fats crept back in, but I never took back much sugar, and the weight crept back on. I kept coming to OA, as time permitted, and occasionally after that, but quit putting any effort into the program, and then just quit coming.

By 2006 I was in trouble weight wise, and in 2007 I started to study the food and nutrition. I figured that if I could understand the issue, I could find a diet that I could follow. In 2008, I decides to reduce bread, wheat from my food plan, mainly due to a food log and computing calories. It became obvious to me that bread was my main food, and it had no nutrition value that could not be replaced with vitamin pills and no calories. Then I recognised it was bread made me hungry, even in small quantizes. Eggs and bacon would last me 5 hours until hunger, but if I added a single toast, I would be hungry in 2 hours. Bread had to completely go.

I read Good Calories Bad Calories, and realized much of my food issue were chemical. I was addicted to wheat. Wheat and all sugar and starch rich foods had to go.

Harold died, and I went to the funeral. I realized that I missed the support that OA had provided, at good meetings, so I came back. St. Albert Monday night for a while. I tried TOPS for a bit, but they know less about food and required nutrition than I did by that time. Internet is a wonderful resource, but sorting out of the crap is required.

By this time I had concluded that acellular carbohydrates do not belong in the food supply. Saturated fat, other than saturated Omega 6 and 9 is not dangerous, and I ate too much omega 6 oils. These are all chemicals which are addicting or addiction like behaviour occurs. There are two parts to the problem, a chemical addiction, and behavioural addiction (exo-adrenal and endo-adrenal).  The solution is stop ingesting, stop doing the behaviour.

Now the doing is not so easy. Sugar and wheat, grains in general, are the easiest to identify, and leave out. Then I find some additional foods have a strong pull. It turns out that there are a bunch of exorphins and exocannopioids in our foods. Wheat, dairy products, artificial and natural flavour enhancers, some preservatives, and artificial sweeteners contain these proteins and peptides. Most processed foods contain these. These are just not suitable foods for me.

Beyond that, it also turns out that, in our food supply, there are hormone enriched foods that are troublesome and GMO. These are just poisons, non editable, looks like foods.

This has resulted in about a 60 kg initial loss and 10 kg rebound before elimination of exorphins.

So what does this leave: vegetables, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, home grown preferred, and meats, mainly not from factory farms. Eggs from farm chickens. Fish from open waters. Not to much protein, and lots of animal fats to satiate hunger. Berries and fruits in local season. That would be ideal, but then there are situations and temptations. This is essentially the "Paleo" diet or "Primal" diet, or "Archivor" or pre 1950 eating style of ancestors, less wheat.

Psychologically, anything else is just not food.

Maintenance is tough. We have two energy sources, carbohydrates or fats. We can run on either, but the switch from carbohydrates to fats is tough psychologically. It is against government policy and media support, but for me it is necessary.

I learned a lot about food and nutrition, and  much is not right in the public media information and food production and sales.  I started with Good Calories Bad Calories.

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