Can’t vs Don’t

One of the ways that I try to make my diet easier is by paying attention to the language I use around eating. When I’m not careful, I end up with something like the situation that just occurred, and I’m eating too many carbs and not following the plan.

One of the main word choices I pay attention to is using the word can’t versus using the word don’t.

Generally speaking I always try to use the word don’t, as in, I don’t eat grain, I don’t eat soy, I don’t eat a lot of carbs.

If you tell me that I can’t do something, my first reaction is going to be, “Fuck you.”

When I start telling myself that I can’t have this food or that, I end up feeling too restricted.

The only exception to this are eggs. I really can’t have eggs. I break out in hives when I eat eggs. That is not an acceptable consequence. I miss eggs, but I do not (knowingly) eat them ever.

As for everything else, I don’t eat it. Can’t implies a restriction externally imposed. Don’t implies I made the choice, and I always try to live a life of choice.

For example, it’s wintertime here. Particularly as I look out on all this snow. As a kid, I remember always getting an orange in the toe of my Christmas stocking. As an adult, I would buy and eat a huge box of the little satsuma oranges.

In January, while I was sick, I ate a few oranges because while I was trying to be in ketosis, I didn’t care if I floated on the edge. Plus, they tasted wonderful.

I miss oranges and other fruit. And I had started to tell myself that I can’t have any fruit, instead of, I don’t generally eat fruit. Which was bad.

What I’ve learned to do in this past week, though, is how I can eat oranges and stay in ketosis, while at the same time, being delighted with my diet.

Instead of eating an entire orange, or even half an orange, and risk falling out of ketosis, I take two segments of an orange and slice them thinly, then add them to my salad.

OMG YUM.

This was what I needed. Just that hint of orange. And I’m still deeply in ketosis.

I will probably figure out how to do that with an apple next. (Though I still make myself smoothies with 1/3rd of an apple in it.)

I do have one advantage – my body likes being in ketosis. In general, they say that you need to cut your carbs to 50 grams per day in order to get into ketosis. For some people, that’s still too much and they need to cut back more. For me, when I’m exercising regularly, I can have 67 grams of carbs and still stay in ketosis.

It’s all about balance. One of the things I’ve been planning on doing for a while but have been too sick or too something to accomplish is baking up my mix of pumpkin muffins. Now, each muffin has 11 grams of carbs, more or less. Eating a full one during a day is going to be too many carbs. I may stay skate the edge of ketosis, but I’d rather stay more fully in ketosis at this point.

This morning, I figured out how I get to incorporate those muffins into my diet.

I need to take my vitamins on a full stomach. Taking them on an empty stomach makes me nauseous. However, I don’t always remember to take them. I don’t eat breakfast, so that means I’m eating at some point in the middle of the day. Depending on how the writing is going, I may be eating as early as 11, or as late as 1:30.

What I’ve started doing recently is giving myself a treat that I can only eat once I’ve had my vitamins. Currently, it’s a vegan chocolate coconut macaroon. They’re 11 grams of carbs each. I get half of one of those when I take my vitamins.

Next week, when I run out of the macaroons, I get to have half a muffin instead. I’m looking forward to this.

And that’s the other thing that I need to stay aware of. I can’t just eat. I need to continue to look forward to what I get to eat next.

So tell me about a recent lovely meal, or a meal that you’re looking forward to!

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