Food, health, life

Eat to Live or Live to Eat

When my husband and I were first dating and going out to eat, he told me that he ate to live, he didn’t live to eat. I was foreign to that concept. I’m Italian. Flavor is all I know. I lived for flavors and how to make something even more flavorful the next time.

My favorite flavors are garlic mixed with oregano and olive oil on spaghetti, linguini or angel hair pasta. With sweets, it’s dark chocolate…in any form. Semi-sweet chocolate chips and/or cookies, dark chocolate muffins, brownies, cupcakes, cake, in milk, etc, etc, etc.

From my Church Windows recipe made with semi-sweet chocolate chips and colored marshmallows.

I couldn’t imagine eating only to survive. To me, it would be like having sex only for procreation without any sensation or passion.

After we’d been together for a few months, my guy had more than his share of my family’s home cooking. And umm, he completely switched his thinking. Turns out, he’d only been fed bland meets and potatoes most of his life and didn’t know there was a whole world of flavor out there.

The hubs and Mom after making pasta from scratch together.

Between the sweets mentioned, along with pastas and breads, sugar has become an addiction for me. Personally, I believe humans are more resilient than we know and can eat anything we want, as long as we don’t do it in gluttonous proportions. I’m ashamed to admit, my sugar addiction is gluttonous. I crave the heavenly sweet granules morning, noon and night. I couldn’t stop eating it, even when I tried. The sugar detox I went on a few years ago gave me withdrawal symptoms not too unlike going off heroin. I swore I’d never do such a detox again, because it almost landed me in the hospital.

That detox I did in Florida was negated after moving back home to Chicago, where we are famous for pizza, hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. Not to mention the abundance of deli’s and bakeries.

Portillos Vienna hot dogs

Over the past 2 ½ weeks, I tried my hand at changing my diet again, only with a different food itinerary this time. I found one that included supplements to ease withdrawal (amino acids). It also included some low carb vegetables and fruit, where the last diet did not. This new diet offers lots and lots of protein for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Here is my summation up to this point. I have experienced some withdrawal symptoms, but nothing as serious as the last diet. I’ve had tiredness and been cranky, along with a couple of blood-sugar drops where I felt faint. But, it’s still much better than the last diet where I experienced blinding headaches, shaking and arrhythmia.

I’m going to be honest, I’m not loving this change. I had hoped to lose at least a couple of pounds by now (would like to lose 20). I can’t be sure, because I NEVER weigh myself, but my tight clothes still fit tight. I have a pain issue that prevents me from exercising, but I had hoped the diet might help with the pain because my usual diet was said to cause inflammation.

Even though I season my food, it still pretty much sucks. I despise eggs. I’m not a big fan of red meat or pork, but I used to eat it if mixed with other foods. Now, I have to eat it without the pasta, rice or bread. No matter how much I season these foods, sometimes I almost gag trying to get them down (especially eggs). I love chicken, but a girl can only eat so much. I don’t like turkey either. Fish is okay, which I have also been eating. I think if I eat one more salad, my blood will turn to lettuce.

In the diet plan I’m using, it states that if a person was given a lot of antibiotics as a child, and/or has alcoholism in the family, they could grow up with a sugar addiction. As for me, I had both, which explains why the sugar addiction has been so powerful for me.

The good news is, my husband and I are doing this together. We support each other when it gets tough, but the withdrawal symptoms can also cause us to get cranky with one another.

It appears my life is now eating to live, instead of living to eat. I don’t look forward to eating anymore…I dread it. I’d rather skip it altogether if I could. I miss my dark chocolate Dove squares. I miss oil & garlic based pastas. I miss rich, tangy red sauce over ravioli’s or cavatelli. I miss soft vanilla ice cream. Most of all, I miss my powdered chai tea with honey, sugar and vanilla.

The thing is, with my addictive quality, I don’t think I’ll be able to eat just one Dove dark chocolate square, or two, or three. Like a substance abuser, once I start, I don’t know how to turn it off. I may never be able to take even one bite again.

I don’t usually write long posts, and I especially try not to write complaint posts. This diet is effecting my outlook right now, and I’m hoping things will level out. Thank you for indulging me.

Why do you think humans were given sensitive taste buds? Do you think it’s so we could enjoy eating? Should we live to eat or eat to live?



32 thoughts on “Eat to Live or Live to Eat”

  1. I think our food has been tampered with too much. What used to nourish our bodies now contains small amounts of substances that kill off the bacteria needed to digest properly. Regular corn has a new and improved pesticide component. Wheat enjoys a boosting dose of herbicide to help it dry quickly. Sugar is more often from beets, roots that soak up pesticide. Even table salt contains negligible amounts of rubbish. I’ve had to completely change my diet to keep from being in pain and strengthen my immune system. There are two things I try to stick to now: taking in gut flora daily (plain, nothing-but yogurt and/or Florastor) and eating organic where I can (I avoid gm corn products like the plague).

    I hope you can stay strong on your diet! It’s tough, but you will be so much stronger! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Rilla. Yes, I have pain too. I was told that sugar and white foods (starchy or otherwise) contribute to inflammation. I was hoping this diet would help with that. Have you seen a reduction in pain since your change in diet? Thank you for sharing your experience and for the support. Keep up the good work.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, my pain has been significantly less. I have health issues that are exacerbated by sugar and white foods, too. (Also, caffeine and chocolate are hard on my body.)

        Thanks, Lori! I hope you continue to find answers for your health issues!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this post I think we should eat to live so we don’t eat in big portions just enough to keep us full rather than live to eat and eat bigger portions do check out my new blog post and let me know what you think would love that❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sana. You’re right, when we live to eat, we do eat in big portions. Being Italian, I was raised on big meals, so it’s difficult to kick the habit. Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I do think we should enjoy eating otherwise why are there so many good things to eat! But well done to you for trying to take control of your health. I do have something of a sugar addiction – particularly to Coca Cola – I would have withdrawal symptoms without it, but I have cut down a lot on it now. Good luck Lori, I hope it works out 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Andrea. Oh yes, I used to be addicted to Coca Cola years ago, too. I had cut that to about 1 a week, but so much other sugar took it’s place, like my delectable powdered chai tea. I’m still trudging through. Thank you for your support. It’s good to hear from you. I was thinking about you due to recent events. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thumbs up, Lori! You can do it! 😉

    Not sure if this helps in any way… I tried to quit smoking many times before but my good intentions always ended by “just a puff”. Then, one day, I went on a daily fast (one day at a time is a good thought 😉 ) I fasted all day long and at the end of the day I had to choose: meal or cigarette? Couldn’t have both. That was 12 1/2 years ago. Haven’t smoked another cigarette since.

    You can do it, Lori! Keeping fingers — and paws 🙂 — crossed for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was a good way to quit that smoking habit. So glad you’ve been able to stay away from them. My mom had a very difficult time quitting, so I’ve seen how hard it is to do.

      Thank you for sharing your experience and for such wonderful support. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Anyone who knows me, knows I have a serious food addiction. It’s been the hardest part since I got serious about diet and workouts in November of last year. Honestly, I should have reached 25 pounds lost months before I actually did and it was because of food. But, since this program really has no end goal (with my age and having no uterus, working out is pretty much my normal everyday until I can’t do it anymore), I’ve been okay with it taking time. Food is still hard though. I guess all I can say is take it one day, heck even one meal, at a time. I don’t think I could do the diet you’ve chosen, though. LOL. But, I like a few more things than you do. Time to get creative!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great that you work out to offset your calories. With my pain issue, that is a problem for me. BTW, do you still have chickens providing your eggs? We switched to brown, farm fresh eggs and I’m able to tolerate those better. Still not my favorite, but at least I can get the down without an issue. Thanks for sharing your experience and keep up the good work. BTW, I received your info in my email. I’ll take a look as soon as I can. Thanks for sending.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We lost our last chicken. Something managed a hole in the wall near the door and got her. We have fixed it and the coop is ready for more, I just haven’t gotten them yet. I know chicks are cheaper, but they are a pain. I’d rather have grown chickens from the start. They are more expensive though, so buying like 10 of them would be about $150-$200 instead of like $30 for the chicks. There is nothing like a farm fresh egg, though. They are so much better. I know you don’t like red meat, but have you tried buffalo or venison?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, boo. Sorry about your chicken. It does sound like grown chickens are better to buy. I keep trying to talk my dad into buying some for his farm in Wisconsin, but he says there are so many farms there he just buys fresh eggs from other people.

          I have tried buffalo when I was a kid (my dad made me, lol). Haven’t tried venison. If I remember right, buffalo tasted like beef. I eat red meat, I just prefer it mixed with pasta or rice. I do have a burger on occasion, but again, it’s eaten with bread/bun. Now, with low carb, I’ve had to eat patties without the bun. I do have a steak on occasion, maybe once every six weeks, but it’s usually if I have a taste for one. Of course, with this diet, it’s been more often, when I don’t have a taste for it and really don’t want it.

          I do miss my pizza and wine. But, eventually I hope to have wine again. 😉


  6. I think it’s good to take an account of what we are consuming on an occasional basis. There is a tendency to mindlessly eat in our modern world, where we are so distracted. Like others said, making sure to savor each bite can help reduce over-consumption. I love dark chocolate too, and finding that moderation level can be challenging!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Joy. That’s so true about eating mindlessly. I’d munch on things while writing and not even pay attention to what I was eating. Didn’t even realize it until you just pointed it out. Thank you for your support.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lori, I am so sorry that you are in a situation where you have to eat what you don’t like while not being allowed to eat what you do like. As for eating to live as opposed to living to eat, we humans must do the former but get more enjoyment out of the latter. I like to take an “all things in moderation” approach on this. In any case, I hope you will be able to find some things that you do like to eat that fit into your diet and that whatever you eat will bring you good health. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ann. Perhaps one day when my body adjusts to this new eating habit, I’ll be able to have something good on occasion. Moderation is the approach I’m going for, like you. Thank you for the support. 🙂


  8. Maybe you should try adult braces, Lori. When I had mine several years ago, I was paranoid of ending up with a mouth full of cavities. So, for two years, I didn’t eat any sweets…and I loved M&Ms! Once I got the braces off, sweets were just too sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had braces for 4 1/2 years as a teen. Ack. And, I didn’t think one bit about cavities. Sweets tasted too good to give up, and they still do. I have to say though, the supplements that this diet has me on are stopping the overwhelming temptations. When I get a craving, I can put the supplement powder under my tongue and it works! I’m not meant to be on them forever though, so who knows what will happen. I’m hoping sweets will be too sweet for me when this is over. Thanks for sharing your experience, Jill.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lori… I am also a foodie. I love food and wine. I live to eat…probably why I nicknamed myself piglet. I have tried most diets and because they made me miserable I never lost weight. A few months back i started the slimmingworld diet. Some foods you can eat as much as you like, while others are either limited. Then you have your syns… I use all my syns on wine and cheese.

    I’ve had to cut chocolate from my diet as I am also addicted and can’t eat just one square.

    The other day I stuffed several squares in my mouth…chewed them… then spat them out in disgust. So far I have lost 8kg not a huge amount because I have not stuck to the diet religiously. BUT I’ve kept the weight off. My original target was 10kg. That is still my first goal and have now set myself a target date of June 30th… gulp. Then I will pause again… then start. I really love my food… so I feel your pain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh yes, a foodie. I guess that’s what I am. I would love to be a judge on one of those cooking competitions, like Top Chef. Thank you for sharing your experience. I can see you truly understand. Good luck with your goal. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sugar is hard to quit, no doubt. I haven’t tried yet, but I should cut down on it. I like my treats a little too much. But so far, I can keep them in moderation. If that fails, I’ll have to go a different route. Best of luck to you with this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wish I could just cut down on my sweets. I tried, but it never worked. I kept eating it anyway. This diet change I’m working on says that once my body levels off, I should have control over the nonstop pull towards sugar. Thanks for the good wishes. Keep up the good work yourself. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Anneli. Oh yes, that last diet I spoke about in this post was a “cold turkey” diet which didn’t even include fruit. This new one includes fruit as my only source of sugar. I’m glad that you’re able to cut back and it works for you. Cutting back doesn’t work for me. One bite of something I enjoy turns to nonstop eating. I had to turn that switch off in my brain somehow. This change is supposed to eventually do that once my body adjusts. I can only hope and pray that it will work. Good luck with your adjustments. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Flavor cravings are very difficult to master, Lori. I’m so sorry you’re suffering through a rebalancing of your diet.

    Many years ago, I followed what was then called the Fit for Life diet. The basic principle was to have fruit only in the morning, on an empty stomach, then to not mix proteins and carbohydrates at a single meal. My experience was that by having the fruit in the morning, as much and as varied as I pleased, my sweet cravings went away. Even today, I usually enjoy fruit first thing in the morning. I’ve also trained myself to enjoy a sweet at the end of my meal. For me, a Dove square is usually a sufficient signal to indicate the meal has ended.

    Take care of yourself. Should you allow yourself a sweet, be present to savor it. Taste it on your tongue, the back of your mouth, flood your taste buds with flavor. Enjoy it thoroughly. It takes 20 minutes for the message of satiety to reach the brain. Allow the time for the message to be received! Holding your intention in Love and Light! 😉 xoxoM

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for these very welcome tips, Margarita. Maybe after my body levels back off, I might be able to enjoy something sweet without the over indulgence. I just don’t know yet. Thank you also for sharing your experience. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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