Feast Foods

Note: Those of you who read this as an email will need to hop over to www.karenehman.com to leave a comment. :-)

Question.

So why would someone who has a feature on her blog called Weight Loss Wednesdays interview women who have cooking sites and sometimes feature recipes that are not “lite” or “low-fat” or “low-carb” or “low-anything” for that matter?

Seems a little culinary schizophrenic, right?

Good question….

One discovery I made on the way down the scale while losing 100 pounds (and one I am rediscovering  as I’m still attempting to get these last dozen or so pounds back off after regaining) is the concept of feast foods. Hang with me….

So many women lose weight (and lots of it, mind you) by cutting every and all “fattening” foods from their diet in extreme ways.

Some go low fat. Thus NO fat at all.

Some opt for no carbs. Bye-bye bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, sugars and starches.

Some choose the no sugar path. Hello meats and veggies and nuts, ….oh my!

Now, all of these diets will work.

If you stick to them.

For me, the problem is in the sticking.

And, when I stop sticking and wander even slightly off course, the forbidden food I sample then becomes a trigger food. For in my mind I surmise, “Shoot! I just ate XXXXX (fill in the forbidden food) and went off my ‘diet’. Might as well just eat some more of it (or another forbidden, but now oh-so-magnetic food like it). I blew it. I’ll stuff myself now and start over again tomorrow.

Been there sister? I have. Visited there just this weekend thanks to some full-fat brats, Heath Bar ice cream and some salt-and cracked pepper potato chips! YIKES!

The problem I see is two-fold.

First of all, it is hard for me to “get there” without a little fun food and incentive sprinkled in along the way. When I dropped the 100 pounds, I had dark chocolate everyday. Lately I have been in deprivation mode, sampling nothing that wasn’t a lean meat, a veggie or a poached egg.

Boring.

I just set myself up for a fall off the weight loss bandwagon.

Now, for those gals who can stick to it for the long haul eating only what is on the approved list for their diet, what happens when the weight is lost and the ‘diet’ is done? Do they continue to eat that way for the rest of their life? When the forbidden foods are added back in, will they too become trigger foods? Nearly everyone I’ve ever known who did an extreme diet to lose the weight regained it. Not all of them, but most of them.

So, here is the dealio and the reason I sometimes feature what seems to be fattening recipes here on this site.

It is okay to eat them.

Sometimes.

In moderation.

They are what I like to call “feast foods”.

In the Bible, there were several occasions where God called for a party. Usually about once a month. During those times, the people feasted. They ate fattening stuff. They had themselves an all-out Middle Eastern buffet-laden good time.

Then…… they went back to eating “their daily bread”.

(And by the way…..if carbs are so evil, then tell me, why did Jesus say He is the bread of life? He didn’t say “I am the broccoli of life” or “the tuna-fish of life”, now did He? Must be bread isn’t all that bad IF it is bread like they ate in Bible times, not the bleached, nutrient-stripped, white stuff that passes for ‘bread’ today. But, that is a post this whole wheat-grinding mama will tackle another day….)

We need to treat ‘feast foods’ as ‘feast foods’ and not eat them constantly. Sadly, most people today eat what I’d consider a feast food at nearly all 21 meals per week! Or we can invent celebrations for any reason as an excuse to stuff ourselves with feast foods.

“Oh…it is so-and-so’s graduation party. Better pig out.” (Even though there is a beautiful veggie tray and tons of fresh fruit)

“Oh, I just made cookies for the kids. I’ll just have one….two….seven…”

“I’m eating out and someone else is paying. I’m not gonna order a grilled chicken salad. Duh!!”

Our minds can turn any occasion into a reason for a feast food frenzie.

Maybe instead we should plan ahead and work just a few into our weekly eating. Say, stick to the healthy stuff in small portions all week except for Sunday when you are having company for dinner. Or Friday night when you and the hubster will farm the kiddos out to grandma and grandpa’s and head to your favorite restaurant.

And, don’t forget those little daily treats. A dark Hershey’s kiss has just 20 calories. Just make sure you are only eating a few as an afternoon snack.

Treat feast foods a rarities and don’t let them become trigger foods which send you spiraling down into depression and send the scale numbers climbing higher and higher…..

Okay now, leave a comment and let us know how your week went. Also, let us know your favorite feast food. Then, plan to eat some of it this week.

Careful now….I’m talking half a piece of cheesecake…..not half a cheesecake!

Feasting Blessings,

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  • Amen, Robin!! I am right there with you on trusting God! You made great points bc I am one of those who thinks “why are they on WW?” when they’re smaller than me, more like the size I would like to be! But it is so much more than weight loss. I love you say it’s a preventive measure.
    I am 30 weeks & I haven’t gained 30#!! That is so huge for me! It is extremely hard to be preg during the summer. I don’t normally care if I have ice cream or not. But it’s different this summer! I want ice cream A LOT! Thankfully I am too lazy to get some when I want it, it’s too hot for me to get in/out of the car, and I can never make up my mind when looking at the selection in the store. It’s overwhelming!
    But at the last appt I did gain 7# in 2 weeks…I don’t believe it. But she said I’m prob swelling, and I am…but I think it’s the ice cream. :/
    I flunked the 1 hour glucose test, did with my first preg, but didn’t have gd. So I asked if I could just be treated like I have gd & go on the healthy eating & exercise regimen bc I can’t get the energy to exercise, someone plz kick me in the seat!! I even got out of tracking my blood sugar! The OB is just going to watch my urine & I will have to take the 3 hour if sugar spills. :( I’m going to a diabetic class at the hospital Mon & hope I learn a lot & keep gd at bay.

  • Checking in late this week, but I was sick a lot of last week. That meant I am down 1.5lbs. Will weigh in again on Wed. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • I have a prayer request. I joined Weight Watchers last November. I met my goal and became a lifetime member in April 2010. I have had such an emotional journey with this weight loss. Mainly because I worry about what other people are saying about me. I know people will talk no matter what but it is still hard sometimes. I joined Weight Watchers because I knew I was going down the wrong path of weight gain. I only lost 17 pounds to reach my goal. To me that was a great loss but for others it seem like a lot. My mom is overweight and struggling and I wanted to stop my weight gain before it got worse. I had people tell me I didn’t need to join Weight Watchers and plainly asked me “What are you doing here?” I finally came up with the answer “Preventive maintenance” Since I have met my goal and feel healthier and everything, I have had more than one person tell me that I am too thin in my face and look bad. One of those persons was my mother-in-law. I don’t know how to respond. I also get those who say you look great and I have a really hard time accepting compliments. WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR WOMEN? I felt bad when I was overweight and I feel bad when I am just the right weight. WHAT ARE WE TO DO? HOW DO WE FIND THE BALANCE OF FEELING GOOD ABOUT OURSELVES WITHOUT BEING PROUD? I want everyone to know that I am one bag of chips away from going right back to my old eating habits. It is a daily struggle for me. I know I just need to put it all in God’s hands and leave it to Him, but it is hard when you have the daily struggle. I continue to go the Weight Watcher’s meetings weekly. I need them and find encouragement.

    I guess I just want everyone to know that we each have struggles whether overweight, underweight, or just right; tall, short, or average. If everything was perfect why would need to call on Jesus daily. I am so thankful to be a Christian and know that my God loves me no matter what. I have been a Christian since I was about 14, but only recently, since last February, I have been growing and understanding things I never did before. Daily I make the statement “TRUST GOD, PERIOD!” This statement has so much power and helps to remind just how much power God has. Our human minds cannot understand it completely but I feel God can reveal a little to us.

    Thanks for this blog and sorry if this is too long. I guess I just needed a safe place to talk. THANKS. I am also praying for you all.

  • wow, I needed to hear that. I often beat myself for indulging here and there. but this was refreshing to hear. thanks Karen. I do make the Lord my bread of Life. and I happen to like bread much better than broccoli which I still eat. but it’s good to know that we can still “feast” and come back to our routine. I’ve been on the weight loss wagon for a long time. I lost 40#s, 3 yrs ago and now I’m still trying to lose those pounds plus 30 lbs from my previous weight, but this time I’m focusing on what God has to say about my body and self-control. God bless you all sisters.

  • The story of my life: diet, lose, eat a trigger food, eat more since I’ve already ruined the ‘diet’. Gain the weight back. I so want to be normal. And am going to keep trying.