Food & Fatigue

Is it just me or are you tired today too?

I feel like I have been hit by a truck.
Sometimes three day weekends do that to me.
Or maybe it was the impromptu Labor Day BBQ that I decided to have Monday night after feeling the pressure to do something Labor Day-ish?

I can't even take credit for this BBQ. My husband did the grilling and he bought potato salad at the last minute when I realized I had a bag of potatoes that went bad. I was annoyed that he didn't buy the potato salad from the deli counter. Instead, he bought it from the refrigerator section and it came in a big plastic tub. So there really wasn't that much "cooking" involved. But somehow I was doing dishes for hours after they left.

I did bake homemade chocolate chip cookies. My daughter was over the moon because I followed the Toll House recipe exactly. Usually I attempt to make them "healthier,"  which really bugs her. But this time I didn't substitute white flour for almond flour. No dark chocolate chips for semi-sweet. No coconut oil for butter. I used the fully recommended white sugar with no maple syrup substitution. They were totally old-fashioned, as my grandmother and mother used to make, and she loved them. I ate about six of them myself. Then I felt like I needed a nap immediately.

Ah yes! I remember why I don't eat those kinds of foods now. They make me feel exhausted and they open the proverbial Pandora's box to eating hell. At the BBQ, I ate an entire bowl of salt & vinegar potato chips by myself, washed that down with two beers, a hamburger on a delicious Hawaiian sweetbread bun. I even gorged myself on the plastic tub of potato salad.  I hate to admit that it was actually delicious.

But I have been tired ever since.

I know I spend a lot of time talking about my complicated relationship with food.

I love food. I love cooking. I come from a family that almost does not know how to socialize without food. My dad is 90 years old and the highlight of the each day is going out to eat.

It's is not about vanity as much as it feeling good. It is really about a lifetime of experimentation of what food does and does not do to my body. I can eat almost anything in moderation. But certain foods "trigger" an addict-like behavior. So I try to avoid them when possible.

But I believe our bodies are delicate machines. The older we get, the more delicate the machinery is. In my case, it's not just physical, but mental. So I am on a permanent mission to try and figure out just the right balance for my body to work at its optimum capacity.

A huge factor in managing my anxiety is limiting stimulants. As much as I love coffee and sugar, I have given both up again. While I am not militant about small amounts of sugar, the less caffeine and sugar I have the less anxious I feel. It's pretty simple. In my corporate life, I had a daily ritual of an afternoon Coca-Cola to get through the long afternoon of back-to-back meetings. 

Now that I work from home and my meeting schedule is much less demanding, the Coca-Cola has been replaced by afternoon meditation and/or exercise. 

Food is my drug. If I don't take my drugs as prescribed, or if I have an accidental Labor Day weekend overdose, I pay dearly for it.  My joints ache. I don't sleep well. My stomach hurts and now I want to go back to bed.