Days 8/9

July 31, 2012

What is it about Mondays?! The day started out pretty rough. I think, because I’m not a very structured person and we have no structured activities on Mondays, the boys feel the total lack of structure and crankiness ensues. Thus, by noon, I was really ready to go through that Starbucks drive through we passed by. It wasn’t quite as strong of a desire as last week though, as I thought about the caramel coloring and carrageenan. Big Boy didn’t nap and Little Boy barely napped, and I still made it through without heading for the convenience (in so many ways) of Starbucks.

I seem to have pretty well “perfected” my own frappuccino recipe, so that helps a lot.

Yesterday I had a really nice talk with a good friend, which helps a great deal. It helps to know I’m not alone in my frustration with trying to find healthy food for myself and my family. Thank you follower!

Good things on the horizon here!

Days 6 and 7

July 29, 2012

I made it! I made it one week with out Starbucks. Yes, I did indulge in some fraps- but only two commercial (one with bad stuff, one high in sugar, but natural ingredients) and a couple of homemade (which had approximately 18 grams of sugar). That is probably the longest I have gone without Starbucks other than in times of pregnancy or illness. So, celebration there.

The cravings for it aren’t gone though. There isn’t a time I pass a Starbucks without a longing for my old treat. Will those go away? I’m not quite sure. Is it safe to indulge occasionally? I haven’t decided yet.

I’d like to touch on a subject that’s troubling me lately though, concerning a past and family history involving eating disorders and raising children with healthy views towards food. Today the family went grocery shopping and it was the re-grand opening of our local supermarket. They advertised tasting stations and special stuff going on, so I mentioned to Big Boy that we might be to try some snacks. I don’t know why I thought “ooh, they’ll have fruit and yogurt”, because usually , on normal sampling tables, we’ve found chips and pizza. Today was ice cream and gatorade gummies. Well, recently, at Big Boy’s annual check up, I was told to limit desserts and watch portion sizes- already a difficult thing to do because of my past. But I thought, well, it’s just a special treat, forgetting about the “special treat” cookie that I let him have at Whole Foods yesterday (partly just to get us through the store- it was a long day). Then, at the checkout line, I saw Chester Cheetah coming over. My immediate thought was “oh, Big Boy will enjoy seeing him!”, so I called Big Boy over and let him high-five Chester. What was Chester giving out? Cheeto bags of course. And, not even thinking, I watched as Big Boy accepted one and we made our way out of the supermarket.

As soon as we got to the van, Big Boy was asking for the cheetos. So, not in as much of a rush, I started thinking about all the things wrong with cheetos. But, I know it’s not great to completely restrict and make foods “good” or “bad”, so I told Big Boy he could have a few with dinner. And oh did the tears ensue. Now, he was probably hungry for lunch, tired, etc, but the tears over not having this food really played on the guilt trip already in process in my mind. When we got home, the chips were put away and, once he ate a lunch of (in my mind) healthy foods, they were more or less forgotten. He did ask about them once or twice more, and he did get some for dinner.

The thing is, this is not uncommon, and it is so difficult for me to know if this is something I am hypersensitive to it, or if I’ve done something to made food an issue for Big Boy already. Has he gotten too many confusing messages about food? Have I used it as a reward or punishment in some way? Or am I so concerned about it, that when it is an issue, I just make it into an even bigger issue? Let me tell you, with an eating disorder, guilt plays into things so much. Well, when you then try to feed your child, even when recovered, guilt seems to resurface when it comes to food! Am I feeding them enough? Am I feeding them too much? Am I feeding them the right foods? And I guess maybe I need to somehow give up that guilt. I need to take action in regards to the food issues I feel really strongly about but realize that sometimes, I just have to let go. Some weeks, chips and ice cream and cookies are going to happen- maybe more than once a day. Some days, I’m going to have to say “two pieces of pizza are it” and when they ask why, I will have to say “because two is enough” when I know it is and not try to make it into a “the doctor says pizza is a whoah food” issue.

While it’s not directly dealing with eating disorders, I think this link is a good reminder that it’s ok not to try to do everything at once when embarking on this journey to eat healthy despite our messed up food industry!

Ok, here’s to giving up some of the guilt

Day 5

July 27, 2012

Today, other than a whole milk for Big and Little Boy and a banana, was Starbucks free. It was not sugary coffee drink free though.

There was a playdate today at a fro-yo shop that is currently featuring frozen coffee chillers for $1 for a limited time. Well, when I heard about the offer, I looked up the shop and took a look at their ingredients online. The GOOD thing- no weird stuff in them. It has a fro-yo base with coffee and actual sugar. the BAD thing- still at least TWICE the daily recommended amount of sugar.

To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy it that much. Even though the ingredients appear to be pretty natural (to my knowledge, which isn’t saying much given that I’ve been drinking a drink with carcinogens unknowingly for the past three years), it tasted a little…fake? Maybe it’s because fro yo always tastes like a bit of an imposter. Or MAYBE my taste buds are actually changing? It actually tasted a little bit too sweet to me.

MORE importantly, I enjoyed the company and just had a nice time enjoying the treat with others.

It seems so odd though, that I much prefer the taste of Starbucks, which is much worse when it comes to dangerous ingredients. Why is that? And why is the FDA approving all this stuff when there is pretty good evidence that many of these ingredients are so dangerous? Why would ingredients be legal to use when they have to be labeled as a carcinogens in at least one state? I don’t get it!

Tomorrow, back to my own concoction. Much less sugar and even cheaper than $1!

First order of business- no Starbucks today. I did make my own concoction with less than half the amount of sugar.

But to be honest, Mr. Java chip hasn’t really been on my mind today. I had a kind of important doctor appointment today, and though I didn’t find out much or get many answers, it has me a little nervous.

I’ve had a variety of symptoms lately that most of my followers know about anyway. Recently they include chills (in 95 degree weather), more prominent stomach pains and, it seems anyway, a lack of appetite. It’s hard to measure the last, as I HAVE to eat or I wouldn’t have energy to care for my boys, so I do. Lately though, frosted animal cookies, which I would have devoured a box of in a couple of days a month or so ago, have been sitting out disappearing two or three animals by day (eaten by Big Boy). I’m not quite sure if this is a psychological or physical.

One thing I did discover, is that though I do want to continue foregoing the Starbucks, I’m going to need to find a happy medium here. The nerves that built up in regards to my doctor appointment led to feeling faint in the office, which is not uncommon for me. Luckily, I know the signs and could ask them to let me lay down. They took my blood pressure even though I told them I knew it was low and then had me go sit in a recliner for awhile. Of course, they offered juice and a cracker. I received the juice box and took a sip. When I put it down, the nutritional info was facing me. I saw the 22 grams of sugar and thought “If I drink this juice, there will be no room for sugar in my food for the rest of the day!”. With my past, that is a red flag of “all or nothing” thinking. Obviously I can’t go there.

It really is a tricky thing, this eating for your health. It seems like it oughtn’t be. It’s frustrating. It’s upsetting. But I guess it’s life in this age of food ridden with chemicals.

Big Boy usually has my husband lay down with him before he goes to sleep. Tonight he asked me to lay with him. I held him tight and told him how much I love him and what an amazing little boy he is. I listened to his breathing slow down and lifted him into his bed. Those are the kinds of moments that make me think there must be a God and that somehow, despite these health issues, things will be ok.

Day 3 (28 days left…)

July 25, 2012

Well, today the boys made my java chip hiatus a little bit easier by napping. It took a little random car trip to get there, but having just that little bit of quiet time made the java chip free day go by just a little bit faster.

I did make this smoothie. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say “it didn’t taste healthy at all”, it was not an unappealing alternative and got some spinach in me. I think the problem is, when you are used to over 40 grams of sugar a day, most things taste healthy unless they add to that figure!

Day 2

July 24, 2012

Well, apparently Big Boy and Little Boy did NOT receive the memo that today was Monday, and Mommy was not going to be getting her usual rush of energy and would thus need a relatively agreeable staff in office. Big Boy decided that, despite having had 3-4 hour nap yesterday, today would be a nightmare by 5 o’clock without one, and Little Boy decided that the only way to be happy was pulling Mommy’s hair.

Interesting how when you change one thing, you realize how many other things in your life that you need to work on. Such as the fact that naps do not occur at the same time, and that they often don’t occur at all without that 2/3 o’clock car ride to Starbucks. And that there is very little chance of getting just that little bit of quiet “get my sanity” back time without this addictive ritual! I guess all of that is for another blog!

DId I cheat today? Well, no, I guess not. Today was the day of Mr. Homemade Go-Granola Java Chip Frap.

You see, despite having gone to Starbucks just about everyday the past few years, I own a frappucino machine. Husband gave it to me for Christmas in 2010. I used it probably five or six times. The last time I used it was nearly right after Little Boy was born. It had a been a long day and I hadn’t gotten out and I was trying to avoid caffeine but didn’t like Starbucks take on the decaf java chip. Anyway, it exploded all over the kitchen and when Husband came home I was in tears.

Despite that last bad experience, this afternoon I pulled it down from the top of the shelf and got out my almond milk, organic chocolate chips, regular coffee (I haven’t even looked into the organic stuff), the cocoa powder (bad choice), Xanthan Gum (purchased from Whole Foods yesterday) and made some ice. Ok, short take, tasted like coffee/chocolate flavored ice water? I think I overdid it on the cocoa powder. Oh, and I added Hersey Syrup (yes, yes, high fructose corn syrup- will need to look for a replacement for that). The grand sugar total, had I actually consumed the whole thing would have been about 18 grams of sugar. Since I drank about 3/4 of it, it was actually about 13.5. And it tasted like it. I think if I used more almond milk (which, as I’ll discuss later, is difficult to find sans carrageenan as well!) and no cocoa powder, it would taste a lot better. The caffeine helped. I’m not ready to give that up. Little Guy isn’t nursing much, but he is still waking up every two hours.

So, it wasn’t Starbucks and it was less than half the sugar of a Starbucks. Now it only it TASTED like Starbucks.

It was a long day. Wondering if Husband will agree after a few days that I am much sweeter with sugar!

Tomorrow this is on the menu. MIL brought a bunch of mulberries and blueberries to make smoothies for Big Boy, so after I make his, I’ll throw the other ingredients and try it out. It seems healthier than today’s concoction at least!

How did the first day go of my no Starbucks quest? Well, let’s see, if we’re going to be technical about it, it went great. No Starbucks entered this body today! But, truly? It was a big, old FAIL! Around two o’clock, which is when I normally make the trek to Bucks, that hankering for a sugary, caffeine rush got the best of me and…enter Mr. Burger King Mocha Frappe, stage right.

I really did start out with good intentions. Problem is, and this is where I start to believe it really is an addiction, I went to the mall. Yup. That’s all it took. Because what do I associate with the mall? My coffee. Then I went to Whole Foods. What was right next to Whole Foods? Starbucks. And so, when I arrived home, on my “day off” so to speak (as my mil takes Big Boy on Sundays), all I could think about was that rush. I called my husband and asked him to pick up a Burger King frappe- which I tried once before, as I had a coupon. I will say, I DID look up the ingredients and did not find very detailed information. I feel safe assuming it does not contain carrageenan, but that is only because I know it is not a drink made to be “light”, as the java chip light is. I’m sure it still has caramel color, high fructose corn syrup, and I KNOW the sugar content is just as bad as my java chip light. But here I sit, finishing up the sugary drink that is more or less full of toxins. And even after I called my husband, there was the sense of satisfaction of knowing I would have that rush sooner or later in the day- even if it wasn’t until many hours later. Just the possibility brings a sense of calm. ADDICTION!

I have started thinking about trying to reward myself after a certain amount of time of NOT drinking this stuff, but it seems a bit difficult. For instance, buying a magazine or book- I associate those with relaxing- with my coffee. Watching a movie- same thing. A trip to the mall, shopping- same deal. I’m not a pedicure/spa kind of girl. And, really, shouldn’t not filling my body with toxic substances be reward enough?

What IS it about this sugar/caffeine rush that is so powerful? And it’s not just the sugar- I have cookies, candy and many other sugar sources in the house. It’s not just the caffeine- then I wouldn’t really have this problem, as a cup of coffee a day seems to be considered a relatively not bad thing.

And so, I try again tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day. Another day I can choose not to poison my body. Another day I can make a choice that will benefit myself, and my boys, who I live for!

So since undergrad (minus a few months during pregnancies and nursing) I have been a DAILY Starbucks drinker. Yes, daily. I know. Some of you are probably already adding up the cost of those drinks and thinking about the student loans I could have paid back with that money. Now, wait until I tell you those drinks were not plain, brewed coffee, but rather mochas (in the early days), cafe lattes (sugar free- you know, the dieting days) and, for the last five years, frappucinnos. Yes, and now some of you can fall over thinking about the fat, calories and sugar I have consumed over the past 10 years. So, I think we can pretty much call this an addiction now. I mean, not in the DSM-IV sense or anything, but, in the “wow, passing the Starbucks at Target up is going to be like disowning my family” sense.

So why now? Recent health concerns have me all over articles in regards to our food industry and our health. Namely, Robin Williams has been a big influence in regards to a number of changes I’ve been trying to make in the diet of my family (ok, the kids and I, my husband will take some work- love you!) Of course, the biggest motivator in my decision to give up my love affair with Mr. Java Chip Light is this article: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/07/18/food-babe-investigates-sabotaged-at-starbucks/ something I will need to refer to daily in my quest to give him the cold shoulder.

Interestingly enough, as I look up at my bookshelf I have a book entitled How Starbucks Saved My Life. I’ve never read it, but based on Food Babe’s review, I’m pretty sure it can’t be discussing the coffee.

Encouraging words will be appreciated friends!

p.s. I wrote this AFTER drinking my LAST java chip light. He is staring at me. I’m not inviting him back tomorrow.