French Roast and Chia Pudding

All you have to do to make “pudding” is put chia seeds in coconut milk and let them expand. It doesn’t take as long as regular pudding to set, and I am all about it. Last night I prepared two containers so that they’d be ice cold by this morning, and I was not disappointed. I use Trader Joe’s Vanilla Coconut Beverage, and I generally put a few Splenda in there, as well. That way I can eat dessert for breakfast, because I’m an adult.

I’ve had Bulletproof coffee two days in a row, so I skipped it this morning in favor of black French Roast, because I reasoned that I did not need the good fats from the coconut milk and chia seeds AS WELL AS grass-fed butter and coconut oil. I assume that by “coconut beverage,” they mean it is somewhere between coconut water and Coco Lopez. Speaking of Coco Lopez, the virgin pina colada was my favorite mocktail growing up, especially at Benihana, where they’d put it in a glass shaped like a geisha girl (hey, maybe that’s MY ROOT!). Then, when I was older, I learned that Coco Lopez has approximately a zillion calories and 85 grams of fat per can. Then I wasn’t so taken with them anymore. Remember that I have not always been the size of a fourteen year old boy.

So I’m glad I’ve found this happy medium, because coconut beverage has just the right amount of good fat and protein to sugars ratio. I was right. I do have more energy. I can’t remember the last time I prepared something at night to eat in the morning after I got home from work… or perhaps it was the shot in the arm I got from the French Fries I ate….

Last night I waited too long to eat, driving around trying to find what I thought would be a good fit for my high fat, low sugar diet. I should have gone to Taco Bell (no, seriously) because a power bowl would have been perfect. Or perhaps Cava, a greek fast-food place that does a mean salad with lentils. Instead, I ended up at a wings place, because I thought naked wings and celery/carrots would be perfect. Except they didn’t have naked wings, and by the time I ordered, I didn’t care. I felt like all the life energy was draining out of my ear. Some of their kitchen equipment was broken, so they didn’t have the ability to make what I originally ordered, a salad with grilled catfish. I was too tired to drive anywhere else, so fried wings and potatoes it was. I picked off most of the skin, and they were dry as hell. Somebody needs to teach those kids how to use a deep fryer….

The lesson learned was that I need to go back to TJ’s and get some more salads and snacks so that I don’t get into that desperate place again. Today has to be about damage control, which means lots and lots of veggies.

My allergies are also in high gear, which means that even taking Zyrtec isn’t enough. I’m taking Sudafed PE as well. I may not be able to take a crap until fall.

Despite all that, though, it’s exciting to be excited about food again. It’s been such a part of my life in the past, and shopping for myself allows me to get a little bit of it back. Hell, I’m excited to be excited about anything. Depression and anxiety suck excitement right out of you at an alarming rate… and that is the whole point of this diet- to try and give my brain what it needs in addition to my medication to function properly. Nutrition is such an important part of physical and mental health, and I am sorry I didn’t get on that bandwagon much sooner.

It’s a conundrum when you don’t have money, because shopping at the Dollar Tree is filling, but not necessarily nutritious. Now that I have enough money to shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s all the time, I can afford to feed my brain as well as my stomach. If you’ve ever wondered why a lot of poor people are overweight, it’s because guess what food is the cheapest? The shittiest. I could save a lot of money per month if I ate a double cheeseburger from McDonald’s every day, but it would do nothing for my mental health, and the bad fats far outweigh the good ones, as well as the extraordinary amount of sugar in the bun and in the ketchup.

Plus, I’m not really spending my money on anything else. I’d rather spend what seems like a fortune at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, and then realize that it’s not a fortune when I’m more full for far longer, and I don’t have to tip.

I’m stepping into the future by feeding my brain, one day at a time… because the better I feel, the less time I have to ruminate on the past. I tend to get stuck in the past when I don’t feel good enough about myself to dream forward.

Speaking of dreaming, I found the herbal chewable sleeping pills that I like at Dollar Tree, and got some Tylenol PM to keep me asleep. Yesterday night, I woke up from 0200-0300, which probably also played a part in making poor decisions last evening. The herbal is mostly melatonin, which is great at helping me fall asleep, but not so great at keeping me there.

I think the combination of the two is ideal, because I slept so deeply that I did not dream. I am ambivalent about dreaming, because sometimes I get the time with my friends that I want, and sometimes I get long ruminations on fear, anxiety, depression, etc…. like a blog entry that runs through the night and I can’t tell when it’s going to end because I have no sense of time. I am very much into lucid dreaming, where I can direct myself where I want to go. It’s the lack of control that makes me feel crazy, because I when I can’t direct myself, sometimes I end up in a very bad place that reinforces everything about myself that I hate.

For instance, I really like when I can start out thinking about coffee with Bryn, where we can sit for hours with a pot between us, catching up on our lives. I don’t like when I end up in the deep, dark recesses of my memory… the skeletons in my closet that won’t exorcise themselves without a massive amount of Freudian psychoanalysis. For me, the way forward is releasing the past, as well as cognitive behavioral therapy so that I can learn to create healthy habits (and perhaps not lose things quite so often…). And as I get better, I want to switch to a gestalt approach that sees me for all of who I am, the blessings and the curses rolled together.

I am a psychology minor (finished that already, actually), so I have taken enough classes to know what I do and do not want out of a therapist. I might even be willing to try hypnosis once to see if I am susceptible to it, because there are so many memories under my skin that I cannot quite reach, and perhaps hypnotherapy will “make it so.”

Depression and anxiety started for me when I was a pre-teen, probably about fifth grade, because I remember clearly when I was that age my parents telling me that I could not sleep all day. In those days, I was struggling with my sexuality, knowing even at 10 or 11 that I was attracted to women, and how wrong it was… or perhaps not wrong, but felt wrong in light of the fact that I did not have any friends who were struggling like I was, so there was no frame of reference for it being a normal part of the human spectrum. It is one of the only helpful things that came out of meeting Diane when I was 12, because she reassured me that feelings for girls were normal. My NE Texas friends did not handle it quite as well, as you can imagine.

At that time in my life, moving to Houston was the best thing that had ever happened to me, because I was no longer limited to a small town where my girl friends ranged from straight to straight-er.

Straight, No Chase-her… little jazz haha for you there.

And on that note, I have six minutes until I need to leave for the office. Have a good day, everyone. I know I will. 🙂


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