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.
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)
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!