Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lament, plus Recipe: Oopsie Pizza!

I've received a couple of quite horrible comments recently, criticising my recent 'obsessiveness' towards food. Overlooking the fact that this is primarily a primal eating blog and being 'obsessive' is part of the territory (if I took a disinterested approach, this would be a pretty dull blog!), this got to me since it rang in such opposition to my recent real-life sensations. Of late, thanks mostly to Alternate Day Fasting, I haven't been worrying about counting calories or watching serving sizes as carefully, in order to test whether the average person could benefit from the ADF concept. The average person would not weight their food, nor know much about nutrition, let alone ban neolithic agents from their food supply. I wanted to make this experiment as realistic as possible for the average dieter.

However, the average person does not also have to necessarily deal with transitioning to a new nerve-desensitising drug - a cluster of my nerves suffered an infection a few years ago, leaving the cluster highly sensitive to contact. The slightest touch on this area feels akin to a rough blade plunging through the skin. Not nice. So my GP & I have been trying drug after drug, looking for one that will improve, and eventually cure, the situation. A couple of options have helped a bit, but the situation remains. Two weeks ago I started on the latest and scariest of the family of drugs, gradually stepping up the dose every week. This also happened to be the time I started experimenting with formal ADF.

Long story short, I don't know whether the drug or the program - or maybe even just life stress - is to blame, but I have been steadily gaining weight over the past fortnight, and finding myself in the death-grip of what I can only assume is the hyperphagia I've read about from researchers and individual sufferers. I would find myself constantly in the kitchen in the evening, no matter whether I was fasting or not, and unable to stop reaching for nuts or cheese or other foods that didn't require cooking. Even if I was in tears, hating myself for feeling such a powerful need to keep eating, I couldn't stop it. I felt powerful stomach pains but even they wouldn't stop this urgent desire.

My guts are swollen and sore, my legs have swollen a bit (not comfortable in this hot weather, I can tell you), I'm constantly tired for a couple of days after stepping up the drug dosage, and am lacking in motivation to do anything except eat! I haven't been taking photos of my food - that's how much I've been turned off by eating. I did manage to snap a couple of very attractive, balanced meals though:



(Just don't think about what may have compulsively followed those tasty treats into my over-worked and swollen guts...)

I've been at a loss as to how to tackle this situation. I can't stop the drug since it's bloody expensive and, even if it's a painful process, if it's the one that will finally cure this sensitivity then I want to let it do its thing. I don't totally blame ADF for my response, but I will be stopping that method until I can give it a proper trial. I was going to go back to the Six-Week Cure shakes since they were satisfying and made it easy to control portions and get enough fluids in this foul heatwave, but I was out of protein powder. (There's some currently in the mail, and I'll be re-starting the 6WC when they arrive, to help shift my metabolism into dealing with few carbs, high fat, and fat-burning. I'm in need of a quick-fix, sure, but I also know how kick-starting those processes helps me in the long run.)

So, in the meantime, I'm going on lock-down. I never ventured away from primal foods, but I'm going to restrict the 'sensible vice' options, as well as counting carbs and calories, and going for three small-but-satisfying meals per day. I'll be planning my meals ahead so I don't discover when logging my food after eating that I've accidentally gone overboard on calories. Absolutely no snacking will be allowed. I want to try and work out how much of this excess weight is mere water retention thanks to the drug, and how much is due to fat accumulation from consuming excess calories. Now that the weather is at the tail of the heatwave, I want to walk to and/or from work every day, as well as start to integrate more activity back into my life. We're going horse riding on Saturday, for instance, though having to tell the manager my weight over the phone had me nauseated and almost in tears. To see such a change in my physicality in just two short weeks is more affecting than seeing myself finally become slender enough to nearly carry off a bikini. I really hope that the drug's weight-gain effects are just temporary, if the drug is to blame at all. I haven't lost the love of cooking, but I've certainly lost the love of eating, so I hope (after this post) you'll see a turnaround in tone here when describing my eating activities.

In fact, why wait until the next post? I just had a great time in the kitchen, and although it's not a new recipe, I want to share it with you all!

Diana Renata, the Wilderness Childe, posted this recipe on her blog two days ago, and I was instantly reminded of the original Oopsie inventor, Jamie Von Eaton, crafter of other such wonders as Cauliflower Pizza, and how much I always wanted to try making Oopsies, but didn't really need to. I didn't want to have to pack a lunch in the morning that looked like a wrap or roll just so I would "fit in" in the lunchroom. Instead, I would take leftover curries or chicken drumsticks, or nothing at all! So I missed out on the Oopsie experience. However, when presented with Diana's brilliant pizza-base interpretation, I had to have a go! Whilst I'm not sure I agree with her "best pizza base ever" sentiment (I like being able to pick up crisp slices of cauliflower pizza), I really liked the holdable & foldable effect, and the fact that the base is nothing but animal products (albeit processed ones) is a very sweet discovery for someone who dabbles in carnivorism.

My recipe is a pared-down version of Diana's, since I don't really like to use processed agents such as cream of tartar (you don't need it to to make your egg whites stiff), nor garlic or onion powders.I've also incorporated my tried-and-true pizza-making tips for an evenly cooked crust that never sticks to the slide.

Oopsie Pizza

Ingredients:

4 pastured eggs
3 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Herbs & spices to taste
Your favourite pizza toppings (I used mozzarella, capsicum, tomatoes, ham, and mild salami)


Method:

Heat oven to moderately high, and place a clean pizza tray inside.

Grab two medium bowls, and separate the eggs so that the whites are in one bowl, and the yolks in another.

Using an electric whisk, whip the egg whites until stiff, glossy peaks form.

By hand or using a stick blender, beat yolks, adding in cream cheese, Parmesan, and herbs & spices as desired, until thoroughly combined.

Fold this yolk mixture into the whipped whites, trying not to crush the foamy bubbles too much.

Remove pizza tray from the oven carefully, and grease thoroughly. Pour the pizza dough mixture onto the tray, spreading the mix evenly.

Return to oven, and bake until golden brown - around 20 minutes.


In the meantime, prepare topping items.

When the crust is done, remove from oven and apply toppings (I recommend using a layer of cheese first to hold your toppings in place).

Return to the hot oven and bake for another 10 minutes, or until toppings have toasted/melted as desired. Turn the oven off when toppings are cooked, and allow the pizza to rest for 5 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

30 comments:

Lupe said...

I'm sorry you had some really negative comments. I did, too, and I even deleted my blog because of it. The radical vegans attacked my blog and I just couldn't deal with it. I'm struggling with eating meat from an ethics perspective so it was just too much. Maybe I'll blog again when I get my bearings better with the whole meat thing. I'm not sure if I should eat any carbs. When I do, I want to keep eating. When I don't, I feel like I must be wrecking my metabolism and not getting enough vitamins.

If it's any consolation, I don't think your blog is obsessive at all. It's very informative and I am learning a lot from you.

I hope the nerve pain goes away. I know what that's like! I had a terrible car wreck a few years ago and now have constant nerve pain in one leg. I am hoping that my new low carb ways will help that a little.

Anonymous said...

Please don't let the negative comments get to you. I am new to this way of eating, and I really enjoy your blog- AND the recipes have been so fun to try. For every one negative commenter, you have all of us positive "lurkers" who just don't feel like we have anything to contribute. I hope the new meds work and that your body settles down soon.
Blessings, Julie

Dr.A said...

Sorry to hear of your health problem, Jezwyn.
As for horrible comments... this is YOUR blog, for you to say what YOU want.. I don't know why some people think they have a right to judge. If they don't like what you want to do or say, then why don't they just NOT read it.. or FOAD even.
When I check into your blog, I am always interested in your experiments... and your food pics are great.
So, keep up the good work!

Adam Satterfield said...

I'd have to agree with my fellow posters. I've found your blog to be very entertaining and informational. I've found that following the Primal/Paleo way of life can lead to ruts in eating bland cuts of meat and steamed veggies.

Your blog has given me many ideas of ways to spice up my diet and live better!

Keep doing an awesome job.

Adam

Jules said...

Hey there-
I'm a new reader and I really like your blog! I agree with the other comments-this is YOUR blog. Do whatever you want to do! I just bought sesame and sunflower seeds to try your crackers. Thanks for the great pics, and keep up the blogging! People will ALWAYS be negative. You do what works for you!

Barbara said...

F Them! It's YOUR blog...

:)

thania said...

I am so sorry for your health problem, some medicine are really nasty. Hope this stage will be over soon. Dont be so hard on yourself!

Good luck.

Susan said...

Sorry to hear about your problems. Trying new medication while trying new diet stuff is hard, because then you don't know what's affecting what. :(

I hope everything gets sorted out for you soon!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your amazing recipes. I am a foodie who is trying to go primal. I have health issues on top of health issues, none of which I should have at my age. I know my diet of carbs, carbs and more carbs is to probably to blame. Being a foodie the thought of going grainless is terrifying. Your blog has calmed my fears. I can't wait to try your coconut almond meal pancakes! Thank you! I also appreciate the links as well. I plan on sitting down this evening and reading more. Feel better!!!!

RPGamingGirl said...

Obsessive? Hmph! I guess some people don't realize that blogs sometimes have actual subject matter ;)

Douglas Robb said...

One of the readers on my blog (Health Habits) is having trouble wrapping her brain around integrating Paleo eating into her student lifestyle.

She knows what she should do…she just doesn’t “think” she can do it.

One of her big stumbling blocks is lunch. I suggested she check out my fave Paleo food bloggers (yourself included)

During our discussion, I realized that she had raised a great question:

How does she “brown bag” her lunch “Paleo style”

What a perfect idea for a blog post.

And that is why I am contacting some of my favorite Paleo food bloggers to ask them that question:

How do you “brown bag” your lunch “Paleo style”?

If you are interested in participating, email (info@healthhabits.ca) me your ideas and I will include them in the article – with full credit going to you.

For your reference, I did a similar post last year on how to get fit and save money – http://www.healthhabits.ca/2009/03/26/how-to-get-fit-and-save-money/

Melissa said...

I guess that's the problem with the fact that it's called a "diet." People think we are in it to look good or something, but many of us just want to feel better! I hate it when people just think I'm doing this to be fashionable or that I'm making my problems up...

I used to be a vegan myself, so I guess opposition doesn't bother me as much. I know all the arguments and can refute them. Beyondveg.com is a good site with data that was made by other former vegans.

Good luck and hang it there! Your blog is a great resource!

TrailGrrl said...

The meds sound pretty strong in their side effects. Whenever I've taken prednisone for just a week or 10 days I am like a one of those hyperphagic rats with part of its brain lesioned so that it can't stop eating. I don't feel hungry, but if food is in front of me I will eat and eat until it is gone. Even stuff I don't like.

The ADF should go until you figure out the parameters of your meds. There's no knowing how much you will have to eat to feel good on them. With prednisone, I am better keeping food in my stomach and not going too long without food. Which is not how I typically eat anymore. But it keeps me from feeling crazy and spinning out. You shouldn't do too much until you figure out what you can and can't do.

The whole point of having your own blog is to be obsessive.

Love your recipes. And the photos of the steak and shrimp have my mouth watering.

TrailGrrl

commutergrrl said...

I, for one, love your blog and look forward to new posts. Selfishly, I will ask that you not let cruel commenters get you down. Living well is the best revenge! Sorry about the medical difficulties - and best of luck! - Meeses

Katelyn said...

Nothing wrong with "obsessing" or focusing on health. That is dedication. I can wear a bikini year round because I use Fitday, eat Zero Carb and love to lift. Don't let the lazy and undedicated get you down.

Jezwyn said...

What a touching and beautiful thread of comments to wake up to! Thank you so much! The scales told me this morning that I'm holding another KILOGRAM of weight compared to yesterday morning, but after reading your words of support, it hardly bothered me. I'm even wearing my tight black skirt and a tight belt around my waist, so yay!

I can deal with attacks on the primal lifestyle, but attacks on my own writing style and use of my blog?? Ouch. So thanks for all the reminders to delete & forget comments from readers who are so bored & pathetic they spend time trolling blogs written by others.

Lupe - I hope you do start blogging; just your comment has me really interested in hearing more about your experiences and your journey. And you've made my pain seem so trivial - my nerve issue is only a problem during one certain activity, whereas I imagine leg pain would be noticeable all the time... :(

Julie - thank you :) It's easy to forget about lurkers, since I'm not the type to watch my stats. I did check in just recently, to see how many visits my blog received after having the crackers recipe featured on MDA, and I was pretty much gob-smacked :) Thanks for the perspective!

Dr. A - yes yes yes!! FOAD! :D

Adam - thank you, though now I feel guilty about my stretches of eating only meat :P

Jules - thank you, I will! And I look forward to hearing how the crackers work out for you. :)

Thanks Barbara! Gorgeous avatar!

Thania - thanks :) I wish this nerve thing could really be classed as a 'health issue' - it's really nothing more than a significant irritation that has been occasionally bothering me for four years! I can live without treating it, but why do that if there's a cure? I'm just not sure right now whether the cure's worth the trouble...

Cheers, Susan - I'm pretty sure ADF wouldn't create such a noticeable effect since I've used intermittent fasting in other forms for most of the past year. Plus, given the hyperphagic effects of other meds, noted by other commenters, I'm pretty convinced that's what's at fault. But I am dumping ADF for the time being. Thanks for the support!

Amen, RPGG!

Melissa - it's true that I am looking to lose weight, but I certainly enjoy the other benefits of eating primally. The criticisms have both been on my writing style or lifestyle choices I have made, so it's targeted at me personally, even though that can only be judged by the snippets I post related to food. Beyond that, I keep myself to myself most of the time, so that's why it depresses me to think I'm coming across as an obsessive, negative person. Thanks for reminding me that you don't all think that, and that we all have our own experiences dealing with negativity, online and off.

TrailGrrl - thank you so much! I hadn't been able to find much info linking my drug to hyperphagia, but it's great (-ish?) to be reminded that reactions can be individual and unpredictable. It might be interesting sticking to my rule of three moderate meals if the drug is telling my body to keep eating - my experience is like yours though, in that the danger comes from having food in front of me... So I'll be staying out of the kitchen outside of meal times! I have to step up my dose this weekend - I'm nervous! Then one more step up the following weekend, before ticking at that dose for a couple of months. I'll certainly be vigilant in testing for any nerve sensitivity improvement if the weight issue is going to continue!

Aw, thank you meeses!! I must obey!

I love you all! :D :D :D

bf said...

I don't really have anything to contribute other than I love your blog, and check it daily. I even linked to it from my blog (I'm a fairly long-time blogger, but I'm just getting into primal, ADF, and Crossfit). I'm so sorry to hear about your health problems. I hope that you find a resolution soon. Have to agree that the whole point of a blog is to be obsessive. If anyone doesn't like it...well my browser has this great button called "back". Works great when I see stumble on a site not to my liking. Perhaps they could try that.

Anonymous said...

Long time lurker, don't know if I've ever commented. I really like your blog and come here specifically for the food recipes (though your interesting stories keep me coming back as well).
Unless you're trying to get rich off this blog, please don't worry too much about what others think. Write what you like. If you just write to impress others it will show.
Good luck with you medication search.
-Karell

Diana Renata said...

Hey Girl, thanks for sharin' the love! I like your mods on the recipe and will have to give it a go. I'm working on making the crust more crisp, yet foldable. I do like a certain amount of crunch. :)

I love your blog. Don't let nasty people get you down. There will always be haters out there. As the saying goes... If you're pissing people off, you must be doing something right.

You're an inspiration. Keep on Grokin!

Sue said...

I love your blog too.
I think its the meds that caused your weight gain.
Keep up this great blog. Hopefully this weather in Oz cools down soon!

Rob Pugh said...

Yep, honestly... screw the criticism and keep on with what you feel is right. Best of luck.

Methuselah said...

People who critisise others for obsessing over food have failed to grasp the situation in which we find ourselves. The supply of the single most important thing we need to survive and thrive has been profoundly corrupted and we have been brainwashed into habouring unnatural desires by numerous organisations and through a multitude of channels. Obsessing over food is about the only way a human in the modern world has any chance of combatting this state of affairs. People may say "Yeah right - but look at me, I am fine and I don't obsess" - to which I would respond that being fine is a relative measure contingent on perception and subject to time. If they knew how I felt maybe they would not think they feel fine... and in 30 years time, how fine will they feel when the impact of their obsession-free life makes itself known?

cleochatra said...

People online can be super ass hats. I look at it this way: If they have nothing to contribute of any use, I don't allow their comments to be seen. People who flame and troll only want attention. Why give them the podium? They don't suffer any repercussions from their immaturity. They need to go back to eating paste and sticking their thumbs in their butts.

No, we won't always agree, but there's never a reason for flaming. Period.

I'm so glad you like some of the recipes I've put together. I love seeing how people tweak and improve them!

I hope you're feeling better soon!

Jamie VanEaton

Jezwyn said...

Thanks bf - great to get perspective from a fellow blogger. :)

Cheers Karell - great points. The purpose of this blog is certainly not to make money but to serve as a resource and reference for others interested in Primal living, so that's why the criticisms hit me quite hard - it suggested that my posts aren't helpful. I'm a teacher, so it's the same feeling as being told that my lessons are boring - cuts deep since it's something I'm passionate about.

Hiya Diana! I'm keen to make the pizza again, though I wouldn't change a thing - so perfect! :)
The comments weren't hateful and nasty, but negative & critical & thoughtful; I can always spot flamers and trolls, but intelligent targeting of my work's flaws cut me every time. I know no one's perfect, but when the purpose of your post is to point out the flaw, why post it? It's only going to hurt the subject. :( I like justified feedback though, so it's a difficult line to pin-point.

Thanks Sue! Definitely the meds - I've been in touch with my GP and he confirmed that increased appetite and weight gain are frequent side effects of this drug, as is the fatigue, though that should pass with time... No mention of the lifespan of the hyperphagia though, so I might need to be strong for a lot longer!

Thank you, Rob. Wonderful to know that to the majority of readers, I am doing what's right :)

Ah, Methuselah, you rock. Your writing style is so gracious and inspired - you're the Primal Philosopher, for sure :) And you're spot-on in regard to obsession, although I would hope that my attention to food and health is not harboured by the negative connotations of obsessive behaviour - letting focus on one aspect of life be the detriment of others. Even I can see that leaving my cousin's wedding to go eat food is a little crazy, but now that I can reflect on the fact that I had taken my first dose of this drug the night before, it;'s no wonder why I was so very driven to seek more food. On a normal day, then sure, I would judge such behaviour as excessively obsessive. Still, the motive behind the original comment is not to help but to mock, so it remains hurtful even though it's somewhat justified. Ah well.

Oh my gosh, it's the Queen! The one that has informed Pseudo Paleo recipe design the world over! Cleochatra! What an honour to have you visit my blog :D Yep, I always delete the flamers and trolls; it's the deeper, intelligent criticisms that get me where I'm vulnerable - my passion to inspire and educate. But it's not such a big deal - it was just ironic that people were claiming that I was too obsessive when my behaviour was actually lacking in my usual focus and attention! Thanks for the comment. :D

Sandy said...

Ah, vegans. I had a roommate who went vegan for moral reasons, and I asked her once if she would eat meat again if she knew the animals were raised naturally and killed humanely. At the time, she was like, we'll see when I can actually afford that meat.

Today, she works for an organic farm and eats small amounts of meat. I win!

I love your blog and find it inspiring. I'm a foodie, but there are days where I wish I were half the foodie you are!

Sandy said...

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that I also love the pizza crust idea. I tried the almond flour pizza crust and liked it, I've done meatza and liked it (and hubby actually liked that one, too), so I'm curious to see how we both feel about this one.

Brian said...

Hi GGP,
really like the blog and unlike a lot of amateur people who write about food your blog is very readable. I only skimmed the other comments so I don't know if this was already suggested, but I wonder have you tried spirulina? I've only recently started reading about it but it seems to fit in the primal landscape, plus it has a really impressive protein, fatty acid, vitamin, mineral and antioxidant profile. Considering the trouble you're having with your prescription it might be worth looking into and perhaps supplementing your diet with. I would also selfishly be interesting to get a really thorough review of someone's experience using the product.
Good luck in your future endeavours. Brian

Jezwyn said...

Thanks Sandy! We had Oopsie Pizza again tonight, and this time the eggs were at room-temperature (just bought) so the crust was SERIOUSLY fluffy! Light and delicious, yet so satisfying. Definitely my favourite crust, despite the dairy - but pizza isn't pizza without dairy.

Hi Brian - thanks for reading! Spirulina is up there with acai berry - there may be some benefits, but to get them you'd have to consume HUGE amounts. Spirulina in particular would need to be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner to get a decent amount of protein and omega 3 fatty acids (you could get the same amount of nutrients from a couple of servings of wild salmon, or even olive oil, per week). And even if I was to do that, it would have absolutely zero impact on the way DepTran is interfering with the chemical signal pathways (particularly those involving leptin), nor is it likely to start reversing what I hope is mostly water retention... So I'm afraid you'll have to talk someone less informed into being your spirulina guinea pig ;) Never trust the 'miracle foods' - the necessary dose is usually ridiculous.

.ambre. said...

Hi! I just found your blog and have been enjoying reading through your recipes. :)
I was wondering if you have tried a cauliflower crust? It sees that it would be quicker than yours, which, as a Mom, is paramount around here! The best part is you can freeze the baked crust for later use. I'm looking forward to making cheese crackers! http://weareoftheday.com/pizza-with-a-grain-free-twist

Jezwyn said...

Hey Ambre,

Yes, I certainly have used cauliflower crusts before, which is why I mention them in this post. I also have my recipe listed on my blog, posted way back in the middle of last year, which might be why you missed it if you're a reader. :) http://girlgoneprimal.blogspot.com/2009/06/fasting-just-makes-pizza-taste-even.html That said, the Oopsie Pizza crust is faster to make and cook than a cauliflower crust, and is less messy, so if you're pushed for time, you should definitely give it a go.