No Room For Fruit

A Welcome By Dor

Allow me to introduce you to Susan, one of the original Suppers, and one of the most ornery, resistant, difficult and delightful success stories I’ve ever met.  Susan has grappled with so much pathology around food that we have shared several of her stories over the years, as small insights inched her closer and closer to normal weight and the release from compulsions around food.
Susan’s story drives home Suppers absolute, non-negotiable dedication to honoring biological individuality above all else.
It was 59 years of dieting, binges, anxiety and therapy before she came to understand that it was food that was driving her compulsive eating.
She lived to eat her trigger foods and was indifferent to the rest.  Hers was a journey into understanding her individual biological needs.
When you read this week’s post, remember that Susan is a gifted psychotherapist. She has helped hundreds of people.  But it took decades of feeling fat, eating compulsively, dieting brutally and finally doing the right experiment to be released from her food prison.

Susan’s Story – No Room For Fruit

I was so resistant to changing the way I eat that the best I could do was add one piece of fruit a week to my diet, and I only did that to make Dor happy.

The mind of a woman with disordered eating has its own special way of calculating food value, and I can tell you, it’s not pretty. My eating pattern was to starve on the days I was being “good” and binge on the days I felt out of control. In spite of having an advanced degree in social work and decades of experience as a talk therapist, I didn’t have the presence or logic to call myself on my even more disordered thinking. In my mind, eating a piece of fruit on a day I was being “good”seemed like too many calories.  How dare Dor suggest I eat one piece of fruit per week! That was 60 calories I had other plans for. I did the right thing for the wrong reason – if you can call social pressure a wrong reason – and submitted to eating a weekly piece of fruit.

My second step was more productive.  I used to get very angry and food driven after work,wanting to kill anything or anyone who got between me and my after-work food. Dor actually put lentils in my refrigerator and told me to eat two tablespoons at 4 p.m., a prophylactic dose.   I did, and it changed my life.  The lentils stabilized my blood sugar so that my after-work mood was smoother and less driven.

The lentils convinced me that eating differently could have an impact on my eating drives, and over the following years I became increasingly more able to eat foods that stabilized my urges and my weight, but it still took effort and I still experienced compulsive eating.

The biggest change occurred less than a year ago.  My husband had joined a one-month paleo cleanse hosted by Jess, a Suppers facilitator, to see if it would help with the arthritis in his hands.  Bolstered by the group support he found at  Suppers, he was successful in conforming to the new way of eating.

He effortlessly lost seven pounds and got rid of the pain in his hands.  

Being a compulsive eater, I was most impressed with his weight loss.   On a day I was feeling particularly fat, I decided to try a month of a modified Paleo diet. It was a stunning success for me. After a lifetime of being convinced that I couldn’t feel satisfied without a starch, I gave up all grains for a month. In a short time, I felt free of binges and cravings. To my astonishment, I lost 10 pounds without effort in nine months, my binge eating vanished, my cravings greatly reduced, and I actually learned to love my diet, which is rich with vegetables, protein and delicious healthy fats.

I had searched for 59 years for a way to treat my compulsive eating, having been set on the path at age 12 when the family doctor and my mother started me on Dexedrine and thyroid meds. In all those years I had never entertained the possibility that it was food itself that drove my compulsions. I can’t be the only woman whose disordered eating was launched by her adults.

By profession I am a psychotherapist. I have spent many years in individual and group therapy trying to understand the psychodynamic reasons for my overeating.

For a long time I have had a good understanding of the emotional and psychological stories that I believed caused my compulsiveness, but still I struggled with my food and weight demons. Now I am free.

In my case, I was surrounded for years by Suppers messages that in my mind applied to other people but not to me, all the while hearing about other people’s successes while standing up for my God-given need to eat starch. But I did absorb the message that some people have life-changing experiences after making simple changes in how they eat. I hope my story will function as a nick in the armor of people’s stories, if they defend a way of eating that’s actually keeping them fat or sick.It leaves me with this question.

Are our stories really as important as we think in contributing to our disordered eating? Is it possible that it is primarily or even totally the food we eat? The only way I know to find out is to make experiments. If I hadn’t, I would still be eating one piece of fruit a week.


Searing Steak For Susan, by Allie

So one time I was at this party in Princeton and I had JUST come from waitressing so it was pretty late and pretty much everyone had left except a girlfriend of mine and this guy she was hanging out with, who turned out to be her brother. I was weary, not as feisty as I am normally, and in favor of having a calm, non-challenging conversation with her and her brother. Eventually we got around to what we do for work (as young people who have just met tend to talk about early on in conversation) and I was like, “oh, I’m a chef” and went on to discuss my very first cooking job, which was on Long Beach Island at an adorable vegan deli called Living on the Veg. So THIS guy (her brother) is like,

“Oh, so then, do you know how to cook meat?” And I’m like,

“Yeah. I can cook anything. I’m trained as a chef.” So he’s like,

“Well I bet I can cook a steak better than you.” And I’m like,

“Do you? Cause you should know that that’s not the case.” (Banter).

We set a date for the challenge, there were non-partisan judges invited to sit at the panel, worksheets printed for them to fill out, rules written, and steaks cooked. And guess who won? It was me, I won. Ned, my opponent, would, has, and will continue to say that I won “on a technicality,” and I would answer that I did win on a technicality–because my score was TECHnically higher than his. We’ve been dating for almost two years now.

Here’s some tips for cooking steak and broccoli, which are two of the easiest things that you can cook in the shortest amount of time, ever.

Step One: Salt and pepper your steak. You can be generous. This is also the time to add any other dried seasonings you desire.

IMG_1836 I just did salt and pepper. I’m a simple girl.
Step Two: Heat up a stainless steel skillet and sear your steak to desired doneness using the handy chart below.
IMG_1842 Adding some fat to your pan would help make this particular steak look more appetizing.
To sear a steak on a pan, always cook one minute extra on the first side, then flip and finish other side. 
Doneness     Time for 3/4 Thick             Time for 1-inch Thick
Rare                2 minutes / 1 minute        3 minutes / 2 minutes
Med Rare      3 minutes / 2 minutes      4 minutes / 3 minutes
Medium        4 minutes / 3 minutes      5 minutes / 4 minutes
Med Well      5 minutes / 4 minutes      6 minutes / 5 minutes
Stop, you’re overcooking that beautiful steak, I won’t tell you anymore!
Step Three: REST YOUR MEAT!!! What you have just done is rearrange a bunch of proteins inside of the meat by placing it over a very hot surface. While those proteins were being rearranged they were SQUEEZED free of all their tender, delicious juices. Now the meat needs to be able to be like “Phew! That was crazy!” and for those fibers to soak back up all those juices so that your steak can be full of flavor and moisture.
Rest meat at least 5 minutes and no more than 10.
IMG_1846
Step Four: While that’s happening, fill a pan with a steamer basket with water and bring to a boil. Prep yo broccoli using a pair of kitchen scissors.
Step Five: Steam that broccoli, man. Hey, did you know that Alfred Broccoli (producer of James Bond movies) and his family acquired their family wealth by INVENTING BROCCOLI?!?!?!?! Broccoli is a cross between cauliflower and broccoli rabe (cause Italy) and we can thank Al and his family for figuring that out. Also for the James Bond movies.
 Just till it’s green and mostly fork tender.
Step Five: Plate, season, photograph, eat!
IMG_1911

Simple Seared Steak and Steamed Broccoli

Ingredients

1 6 oz. sirloin or strip steak, salted and peppered

1 head broccoli, florets removed.

Procedure

  1.  Heat a skillet over medium high heat for a couple of minutes before adding steak to sear. For a nice brown color, add some coconut oil to pan. Place steak on pan and sear to desired doneness using the handy dandy chart above.
  2. Set a pan with a steamer basket over high heat and bring to a boil. Place prepared broccoli in and cover. Steam 5-8 minutes or until broccoli is very bright green and mostly fork tender.
  3. Season broccoli with salt if desired and slice steak once 5-minute rest time is through. Serve warm.

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