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Crocker! I Ain't Eating This Crap

By Dan Crocker Feb 5, 2015 - 11:33 AM print

During the Superbowl, I stuffed my fat face with a dip made from Marvella (the off brand version of Velveeta), sausage, ham, and Ro-tel with habaneros. I ate roll after roll stuffed with cream cheese and ground beef. I ate enough Lit'l Smokies to instantly clog every artery in my body. My jowls shook with the might of my eating. Pretty normal for a Superbowl party, but I went the extra round this year because I had already decided that on Feburary 2nd, I'd be starting a no processed food diet for the entirety of February.

Mostly, I'm just tired of feeling old and tired and like shit everyday. Plus, I have sometimes crippling anxiety and more and more studies show a link between diet and anxiety. At this point, I'm willing to try anything. Traditional medication hasn't worked for me. It runs the gambit of making me feel tired and depressed (Xanax), to out and out crazy with mania (six days of no sleep on Lexapro) to working pretty well, but making me feel like a pill popping junky (Klonopin). The one thing that might help (wink wink) is still illegal in MO. I gave up medication several years ago, and since have been looking for more natural ways to curb my anxiety. Things that have worked: 1. Always plan ahead. 2. Lay off the booze. 3. Stop feeling guilty about saying no. 4. As soon as I feel a panic attack coming on, stop and realize it for what it is.

Those things help, but still the anxiety persists. Maybe this diet thing, coupled with exercise, will help even more. My overall health is a reason as well. I have high blood pressure and what my doctor called “alarming” cholesterol. I'm almost 90% cholesterol, people. At this point, my blood is basically butter. Still, I had some worries (of course) and food was the least of them. My overall diet has been pretty healthy, off and on, for the last few years. I don't eat a lot of red meat or fried food. I make most of my own food, etc. Though the last six months, pre-Superbowl, I have backslid somewhat. My biggest worry is giving up Diet Coke.

Look people, I drink 6 to 9 Diet Cokes a day. I know it's poison. Delicious, delicious poison. Diet Coke wreaks havoc on your innards. From your kidneys to your brain, it's doing a number on you. But diet soda withdrawal is a real thing, and it's not just the caffeine. It's also the aspartame.

I'm on day four now, and except for low level headaches and some pretty serious cravings, the Diet Coke withdrawal hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. The food part isn't bad at all. I can eat as much as I want as long as it's fruits, veggies, whole grains, stuff I make from scratch. I love to cook, so I see that last part as a challenge. I've also always assumed that trying a diet like this would be super expensive and nearly impossible. Where I live, the nearest Whole Foods is a two hour drive, for example.

That hasn't been the case. I haven't bought meat because I'm not going to buy it unless I can find it from a local source that doesn't stuff their animals with steroids, hormones, etc. I haven't been able to find that yet. I'm fine with it. Like I said, I get more than a tinge of guilt eating those little piggies anyway, so I don't eat a lot of meat to begin with. Not buying anything in a box, and seldom a can, saves a lot of money too. Yes, it's more work. I have to cook just about everything. When I don't have time though, I just throw together a salad or eat a couple of apples or something. In any event, for a week's worth of groceries, I actually saved about 30 bucks. True, I wasn't able to buy anything fancy. I couldn't get any prepackaged, all natural, anything. I just had to buy the raw stuff and eat it raw or fix it up myself.

There are some insidious things out there you have to look out for as well. Reading the label for the first time, I found out the lightly-salted peanuts I usually get have freakin' high fructose corn syrup in them. What the hell?! Peanuts! I was able to find no salt peanuts that had nothing in them but the damn peanuts. I threw them in a blender with some honey and a little oil and made my own peanut butter that's pretty damned good.

I know that I run the risk of coming across as one of those annoying new age, pseudo-science whack jobs, but I'm not. There's real science behind this, and like I said, I'm willing to try anything at this point.

It's just day four. I haven't really noticed any change in anxiety yet, but I have a long way to go. I have noticed I'm sleeping better, and not to get too gross but all bodily functions that involve the bathroom are healthier and happier. It's not a diet I can probably sustain for the rest of my life, thus the one month reboot. It is, I hope, a diet that will give me better habits, eating a lot more good food and a lot less crap, after it's over. And I'm done with that damned Diet Coke. To hell with that shit. I'll keep you all updated as the month goes on.

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