Food For Thought - Fake Ice Cream
Even today, a health and fitness fanatic of 45 years of age, I wish (every day) that I could have a peanut butter cup. I pass the pastry corner of the Amish Market (every day) and wish I could have a crumb bun or an eclair. I see the Dunkin' Donuts on 9th Avenue (every day) and wish I could go in for a sour cream cake donut. I stand with Hunter in the Starbucks (every day) after we workout (he must have coffee) and wish I could have an apple fritter.
Let's be straight. My metabolism is shot. I actually think my metabolism packed an overnight bag and split for Greece, some 15 years ago. Thanks to years of bad eating habits, yo-yo dieting, carrying around a LOT of extra weight, and thanks to years of alcohol abuse, my metabolism is as compromised as my virtue. So I cannot afford to eat sweets, even though there are times when I use the "life is short" excuse; and there are times when I need no excuse at all... A stress eater, I can eat an entire box of Kashi Go Lean Crunch in one sitting. So I don't keep any in the house. Last Christmas I actually baked. I made brownies for the girls at the bank, I made gluten free pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for Thanksgiving at Liz's and I made gluten free Chess Pie for Thanksgiving at Jen's. I'm a good baker. I bake, now, only on special occasions. Christmastime was filled with birthdays and holiday parties that demanded I put on my apron. And it left me with containers filled with unused chocolate chips and baking chocolate. A stress eater, I found myself shoving handfuls of chocolate chips into my mouth last week when one of my loved ones upset me.
I'm an exercise queen. I'm a weight lifter. I'm an exhibitionist. I have created a slightly public persona as these things - to be a stress eater does not match my lifestyle. Gaining weight does not match my lifestyle. Most importantly, gaining weight and stress eating affects my productivity because it makes me, physically, ill.
So I gave all that leftover Christmas chocolate to Jennifer Houston to use in her cookies when she creates her delectables for http://www.thischickbakes.com/ (the only baked goods, other than my own, that I will eat or endorse). Of course, that left me with nothing sweet to eat.
They say necessity is the mother of invention.
I was looking at the six tubs of cottage cheese in my fridge (it's almost nothing but protein, which I need to build more muscle). Friendship makes a cottage cheese that is lowfat (1% milkfat) with no salt added and it has a pronouncement on it: LOWEST CARBS! I read the label. Per half cup, it has 90 calories, 1 gram of fat, 50 mgs of sodium, 4 grams of carb, 3 grams of sugar and 16 grams of protein. I don't mind stress eating this. It won't hurt me.
Then I looked at the four containers of ISOPURE protein powder (I like Banana Cream and Dutch Chocolate best - Pat likes Apple Melon; Cookies N Cream and Mint Chocolate aren't too bad -- a little chalky).
I had a thought.
I keep my cottage cheese on the top shelf of the fridge. It is right next to the cooling unit. It is very cold. I put some into a cereal bowl and stirred in about a scoop and a half of the Dutch Chocolate ISOPURE protein powder and mixed it up and tasted it.
Ok, it's not as smooth or as sweet as ice cream; but it also has an interesting texture to it that makes it kind of like the ricotta used in Italian desserts. It was sweet, it was cold, it was creamy, it was rich... whattay know? I made Ice Cream!
I tried it with a richer, creamier cottage cheese and it was AWFUL - I read the label and found that each serving had over 300 mgs of sodium. You couldn't even taste the sweet of the chocolate. BAD idea! Stick with the low salt version.
So this has become my treat to fool myself into thinking I am eating ice cream. It's tasty and it's full of protein and I can relax a little about the result of any stress eating...
Mind you, I do want to say that I am less concerned with the caloric intake of my stress eating (because I know how to work it off) than I am with the compulsion itself. Somewhere in my head is the reason that I am a stress eater and it is that compulsion that worries me. I want to know what the root of the compulsion is, rather than the habit. Once I have discovered the problem, I can deal with it. But there are rooms and drawers inside my head that are unopened and they must be entered and explored before I can find the answer to this and many other questions. So I have hired a hypnotist to take me into those rooms.
And that is a story for another day...