Friday, May 9, 2008

CRON Idiosyncrasy, Discipline or Passion??

“Funny how I slacked off on keeping a food journal and put on several pounds in just a few weeks. Well, DUH!!
So, if I’ve learned anything at all, it is that discipline in eating, CRON, and weight control go hand in hand. AND keeping a journal of everything I eat is the best way to stay on track (for me, anyways).
So, today I am back at it. Measuring servings, keeping a food journal, counting calories, tracking nutrients, proteins and carbs.
So back on track again!!”
from my food journal in January of this year

I am not an obsessive person. My husband on the other hand is a tracker. He writes on his calendar each day the time he gets up, his weight and the outdoor temperature, along with a brief “weather forecast” by noting sunny, rainy, snowy etc. Now, to me that is obsessive….or could it be genius. Thomas Jefferson was obsessive in much the way my husband is. He had a thing about time and weather and writing things down. He also had over a thousand inventions credited to him.

But my brain doesn’t function that way. Take cooking for instance. I grew up in an ethnic household (Lebanese), taught to cook by my grandma, who made everything from scratch. Nothing was measured. Just throw in a bit of this, a handful of that, a pitch of something else. Sometimes she never even used a bowl. Just threw a pile of flour on a board, made a “well” in the center with her hand, threw in a few things and wallah…bread, noodles, pies. Who needs a cookbook!

Middle Eastern cooking (in our house) was all fresh vegetables, tons of fragrant herbs, olive oil, garlic, and lamb. Nothing ever came out of a can. I don’t think I ever tasted “white bread” till I went to school.

I was brought up on a more healthy diet than most health food fanatics eat. So the good nutrition part I have down. It just feels so unnatural to measure and track and write down everything. But it is a must if one wishes to maintain a CRON (calorie restriction optimal nutriton) way of eating.

A question for my CRON friends, or anyone else that might like to help me out.
Can a passion for healthy eating go from being a discipline to becoming an idiosyncrasy? And more importantly...How do you stay on track?


Gypsy Girl


gartenfische said...

Hmmm, I definitely AM obsessive. I guess it takes all kinds. :)

I think as far as food--you could keep checking in with yourself and asking whether you're being balanced. I think healthy eating (and anything else) is all about balance.

Anonymous said...

I found this blog by accident ;-)
I'm interested to see that you were raised on such a healthful diet. I lived in North Cyprus for a year and the food I ate was similar to Turkish food. It was the best food I've ever eaten - I've lived in a few different countries.
I think that healthy eating is a 'must' no two ways about it. If there's any problem - that I see - it's when the nitpicking becomes obsessive. The facts are not all in yet. We dont KNOW the exact nutrition etc in a given food. We get different studies that do not reach the same conclusions. I try to find a consensus from the most scientific up to date studies and then relate that to what I and my friends and family have experienced over the years. I'm 81 years old so have had a lot of experience, from old wives tales to some really helpful advice.
There is a tendency for us to want the answers to some questions that are unanswerable. I see some members of the CR society as bordering on 'obsessive' in the amount of detail they find necessary for eating every mouthful of food.

Linda said...

Food should be one of life's great joys as well as a source of health and vitality. My tastebuds have learned to value freshness and natural flavour, simply prepared, and I have no craving for junk foods. One person's obsession is another's determination - but I think it has gone too far when eating is no longer a pleasure. The best way I have of staying on track is weighing myself morning and night. If I am not able to weigh and measure I choose raw high bulk low calorie foods, such as salads and fruit.

Gypsy Girl said...

Hi garten, Balance is definitely a good thing and eating and health is no exception. And I am learning more each day about focus through yoga practice so maybe that will keep me on track with CRON way of eating.

Gypsy Girl said...

Hi Peg, I am glad you stopped by and left such a thought provoking comment. We DO seem to want answers to some things that are unanswerable, thats what keeps scientist going LOL
Having been brought up on a real healthy diet has been tremendously helpful in making right choices when it comes to diet and food.

Gypsy Girl said...

Hi Linda, I love your blog.
Thanks for the good tip in your comment about when you cannot weigh food you choose raw, bulk low cal fruits and veggies. I have been trying to lean that way when not at home,and doing my own cooking, But, as I am sure you already know, it is not always possible.

alfia said...

Hi, Gypsy Girl!

I think you are my cosmic twin. I was just thinking the same, while I was finishing reading "The CR way". I do not know the answer, but I would love to hear what other people have to say.


Gypsy Girl said...

Hey alfia, Isn't it funny how you can be on the same wavelength as someone.
Are you practicing CR? I think it makes sense and is a good thing, if it is done right by getting the optimal nutrition. Its like I said, just that I am struggling with the tracking.

alfia said...

Are you using any of the tracking programs? I started using cron-o-meter and I love it! I thought I was eting pretty good before, but when I staerted using the progra, I learned a lot about my eating habits. I tend to not to get enough of selenium and Vit K, for example, and overdoing it with Vit A. And so on. I am tracking my food quite obsessively now, just because I like this program so much.

Linda said...

Yes, CROn-O-Meter is fun to use and a real eye-opener. Handy especially in the UK as a lot of British foods are simply not on there, so I add them on. Also it's great creating and tinkering with recipes. But I also like to do the 'what if' thing - entering up combinations of food I might want to eat and seeing where it gets me. All this takes time of course, and I can understand that when we have busy lives it isn't always possible. I don't think we should get stressed and guilty if we occasionally fall by the wayside - remember those cheerful relaxed Okinawans?

Gypsy Girl said...

alfia, I do use cron-o-meter and at first hated it, but now with a little advice from Lind:) on how to create recipes, I am finding my way around and love it! And it is true, you can really see exactly what nutrients you are lacking so you can look for foods with those nutrients.
Keep an eye on Linda's blog, she gives lots of good CRON advice and sometimes posts specific nutrient rich food lists.

@Linda-when you add a food, how does that work with tracking the nutrients? Do you have to look up the nutrient values and add them too?

Linda said...

I am blushing at so much praise - but also feeling guilty that I haven't posted more info on foods - must do more soon. When I add new foods onto the database I have to do some research, often online. If it is a commercial product I start with the basic analysis on the pack. Sometimes I write to manufacturers, but they rarely reply. I am aware of the fact that the pack doesn't give all the fine details. For example the makers of V8 juice told me only state on the pack any vitamins and minerals they have themselves added, not the ones naturally present! So for the unfortified juice I had to calculate (and frankly guess) the percentages of the different juices and calculate the nutrients based on the cronometer values for those vegetables. Sometimes I can find a brand on cronometer which is similar to what I am using which will give me the nutrients not listed on my pack, and I make the adjustments from that. All this means my figures are not accurate, but if anything I am erring on the conservative side, which means I am probably getting more nutrients than cronometer calculates.

Gypsy Girl said...

Linda, Sounds like a lot of work, but I guess it is necessary if we want to stay on track.
We are probably eating more calories and getting more or less nutrients than we think, but at least we have reasonably certain idea of what goes in our bodies, as opposed to those that just shovel in the junk food and not think about health or nutrition.

Arturo said...

Actually, mediterranean diets are considered among the most healthy, so that is a good thing to begin with. How does one stay on track? I and another long term CRONie have been a bit slack recently, but the answer might be in knowing what to buy at the groceries, sticking to healthy foods, avoiding high calorie, low nutrition foods, and making an effort to track, yes.

I loaned the detox diet book to my colleague at work and it helped clear her skin. So thanks for recommending it.

OOh, I see dear Peg has found your blog. How wonderful. She's very wise. It's so interesting that Alfia, Linda and you started practicing CR. For me it is absolutely tied to yoga. I found CR because of yoga and the two complement one another.


Gypsy Girl said...

arturo, Thanks for your advice(always wise and always appreciated)
Glad your friend found the detox book helpful..I had recommended 2, which did you read?
I am finding more CRON people through blogging and actually they help me stay on track just by reading their blogs.
I just love minnironnie and her blog. She has been very helpful.