Saturday, July 9, 2016

How many of you binge (and numb your pain) with food when something bad happens?

Something bad happened last night...and it got worse today.

I'm getting better at stifling my urge to binge (and drown my sorrows in food) when something bad happens.

It helps that I live so far in the boonies that it takes awhile to get to a BBQ joint, steak house, Mickey-Ds, grocery store or even a gas station. By the time I get there, I've calmed down. That's a secret I learned about myself. Most of the time I just stay home when I'm upset and as long as there is nothing I can into trouble with at home (like Rocky Road ice cream), I'm usually good.

But today, not only was I upset (majorly), but I had to go into town for something unavoidable.

Danger, Will Robinson, danger.

Then right before I left, on Facebook, there was a photo of rare lamb chops at a restaurant near here cooked by someone I know can really cook meat.

I knew I was going to eat rare red meat before the night was over. So I accepted my doom. Visions of steakhouses danced in my head.

Why am I trying to avoid red meat? The new Paleo thinking says we should live off of red meat. I can't do it. Why? Because I love it and I eat too much of it. People who can actually eat red meat in 3-4 oz portions, more power to 'em. I eat a pound of it at a time when I get started. It's my greatest weakness. There's good stuff in red meat, but there's lots of nasty things in commercial red meat, not to mention the carcinogenic chemicals when you cook it at high heat (and how else do you cook a steak, tell me?).

However, I just learned a new trick. When you eat bad stuff, the trick is to pair it with high-antioxidant food to neutralize all those bad boys as you are stuffing your face. I actually read that yesterday.

So, yes, I got a steak. A small one. Well, it wasn't three ounces (or the size of my palm) but it wasn't a 16 oz grizzly bear steak either. And it was grass-fed and organic, so I could only afford a small one.

Now for the accompanying antioxidants. That took some thought.

I had a steamed artichoke with some pecorino romano and lemon juice. All three super-healthy items. Tons of hard-to-find high-quality conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in that pecorino romano. I use the sprinkled romano with its strong taste to replace the oceans of melted butter I would have preferred. As for the lemon, we all know how good lemon juice is for us, but have you read about artichokes? Feast away.

Then I got beets and sauteed my beet greens in just a bit of turkey nitrite-free bacon, so I felt like I was being really bad--then a splash of apple cider vinegar. Beet greens. Read up on it. Wow. ACV, another wonder food. Then I had water with a dash of unsweetened cranberry nectar alongside my dinner.

That was a lot of food, but it was all super-healthy veggies alongside that wicked ribeye. I followed it with fresh pineapple (with meat-digesting bromelain) for dessert. Let's see how well those high-heat carcinogens do when they meet up with all my super-veggie antioxidants.

Okay, so I wasn't perfect. I forgot to tell you about the gourmet dark chocolate bar (72%) with almonds. It was huge. But I drove to my daughter's house and broke off half of it and gave it to her. Then I broke the other half in half and gave it to my grandson. Then I left with my 1/4 of a dark chocolate bar. I saved myself. Beside, you know how many antioxidants were in my 1/4 bar of dark chocolate. I'm jus' sayin.

But you know what, compared to eating two Big Macs, two large cokes, some chicken nuggets and an apple pie for dessert, I think I did pretty damned good. Yes, I've done that when I was traumatized by life events. Drunks get drunk, I pig out. So shoot me.

So if you have to binge, try to make it as harmless to your body as possible. Let your bulk of your binge come from harmless vegetables but cook them to where they taste good and feel like you're bingeing. Nothing like red meat and veggies with a dab of bacon and romano cheese to satisfy that raging binge urge when it hits.

I'm stuffed. I'm still worried about what happened, but I'm not worried about how bad I'll feel tomorrow after my "binge." It actually wasn't that bad of a meal. Not something I should have every night, but once a month, a steak and some dark chocolate might be just what the doctor ordered. And it certainly won't kill me.

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