When we perceive scarcity, our wiring causes us to act in ways that hurt our best interests. This phenomenon explains why following a new eating plan to lose weight might actually work against us. We have to replace our scarcity mindset with an abundance mindset in order to succeed.
Last October I took a break from my usual MAPS self-care theme and published a series of vegetarian recipes. This October, the kitchen calls again and I’ll share some of my new inventions. This time, they’ll be not only vegetarian but keto-friendly (and gluten-free). Join me for some awesome recipes that diabetics, people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, as well as keto dieters, can enjoy!
Deprivation—Just another Word for Scarcity
I lay on the flatbed of the CT scanner and listened the radiology technician, a friend of mine, give me last minute instructions. The brightly lit tube intimidated me, and I wished that our hospital had one of those modern, open CT scanners.
“When you go inside, try not to swallow,” he said.
I gulped. Not swallowing for five to ten minutes? How in the world would I do that? Even not swallowing for one minute suddenly seemed horrible.
A motor whirred and the flatbed eased into the tube. I swallowed convulsively, over and over again. Holding my breath didn’t work, so I tried easing tiny swallows through a suddenly parched throat. Thoughts of swallowing (or not) filled my mind, and I could scarcely pay attention to the tech’s calm voice guiding me through the procedure.
Finally, the bed slid out of my personal purgatory and I almost choked from gulping in air and swallowing.
“You seemed a little nervous in there,” my friend said.
“Not nervous, just afraid to swallow,” I exclaimed. “I didn’t want to mess it up and have to do it all over again.”
“You didn’t have to not swallow the whole time,” he said, “just when we actively scan.”
“You mean I can swallow inside that thing?”
He laughed, “Sure, we just don’t want you to gulp, because you’d move too much.”
I didn’t know what to say, but I had to say something. “Maybe if you told people they could swallow when they’re inside, and to keep the swallows tiny when you’re scanning, it might help. I could only concentrate on not swallowing, which made me gulp.”
Thankfully, he didn’t take offense. “I hadn’t thought of that,” he said. “I’ll have to try it with my next patient.”
The Psychology of Deprivation
Deprivation (or the anticipation of deprivation) sparks an almost instantaneous scarcity mindset reaction. In my case, I had to force myself to swallow less often—a scarcity of resources.
I immediately adopted a scarcity mindset which made me hyper-focus on swallowing. My CT scan experience left me feeling traumatized. I ended up swallowing (the thing I shouldn’t do) many more times than I ordinarily swallow in the same span of time.
The same principle applies to any perceived shortfall. Marketing experts from the University of Miami discovered that if someone felt a scarcity of food, money, or time, they reacted by eating high-calorie foods or spending resources in a risky way.
This finding explains why restrictive diets often don’t work long-term. Having a scarcity mindset about food (food restrictions) can trigger a deep, primal need for the food we’ve denied ourselves. We can deny ourselves chocolate for only so long before we start to fixate on it, our loss, and our absolute need for a square of divine, dark chocolate.
The keto diet poses the same problems since it restricts carbs (and sugar has a lot of carbs). Fifteen years ago, when I successfully tried a low-carb diet, the plan I followed had a lot of restrictions and suggestions. Lots of protein, no sugar, very little fat, and almost no carbs. In addition, I had to eat two salads every. single. day.
After ten months, just the thought of a salad made me turn green. It took several years before I actually enjoyed one again. I also felt hungry most of the time on the low-carb diet (most likely because I didn’t eat enough fat). The diet guru I followed said I could eat almonds, but no more than ten a day. I constantly craved almonds.
Abundance Mindset Offsets Scarcity Mindset
Our minds play an incredible role in our ability to successfully navigate changes in our life. If we assure ourselves that we have an abundance of resources, we no longer fall victim to the scarcity mindset. When we believe our resources have limitations we fall victim to a frenzy of
When I first researched the keto diet, I feared the low-carb diet had just found a fancy nickname. Sixteen years ago, grocery stores sold limited amounts of ‘low-carb’ products, and perhaps one or two gluten-free items. Low-carb dieters faced a scarcity of options.
Today, purveyors of keto-friendly goods have flooded grocery stores, restaurants, and the Internet. Instead of agonizing of which direction I want the pile of plain lettuce on my plate to face, I have myriad choices for salads, dressings, entrées, desserts, breads, and snacks. I have abundance instead of scarcity. Which makes it easier to find a wide variety of healthy options as I change my eating habits.
For me, the genius of the keto diet lies in the lack of restrictions. Sure, you have to restrict carb intake, but you can come up with thousands of creative alternatives for the comfort foods in your life. I don’t count calories or keep track of fat. And my cholesterol has dropped. I crave sweets at times, but I can feed the craving with keto-friendly options.
The availability of wheat and sugar alternatives has made eating keto almost easy. I eat salad, but only when I feel like it. Creamy broccoli soup and eggplant parmesan fill my need for vegetable servings without loading up on carbs.
Which proves the solution to scarcity mindset involves an abundance mindset. Now I can eat as many nuts as I want (and not just almonds, either). I usually eat ½-1 cups of nuts a day. A plethora of creative cooks have invented endless keto recipes that not only look good, they taste amazing.
This variety and the availability of gluten-free and low-carb options make having an abundance mindset easy. I’ve started a Pinterest board for keto-friendly vegetarian recipes where I add tasty-looking recipes daily. Ruled.me has great recipes, including vegetarian options. If you want ideas on stocking your keto pantry, you can click here and find little-known low-carb sources of vegetarian protein.
As I continue to experiment in the kitchen, I’ll post more vegetarian keto recipes. But for now, here’s an extraordinary dessert you can make in minutes.Is your scarcity mindset sabotaging your keto-diet success? Adopt an abundance mindset and enjoy this chocodamia brittle with sea salt! #keto #dessert #1netcarb #mindset Click To Tweet Print
Chocodamia Brittle with Sea Salt
- Prep Time: 3
- Cook Time: 3
- Total Time: 6 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
This super-easy macadamia brittle has the perfect marriage of sweet and salt with just enough chocolate to create perfection. With only one net carb, it’s also the keto dieter’s new best friend.
1/4 cup salted butter
1/3 cup golden Erythritol
1 cup raw macadamia nuts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar-free chocolate chips
Sea salt flakes to taste
- Chop the macadamia nuts and set aside.
- Line a 9X9 baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When it melts, add the golden erythritol and the cinnamon. Stir with a wooden spoon.
- When the mixture starts to boil, add the chopped macadamia nuts and turn up the heat a little.
- When the mixture starts to boil again, set your timer for two minutes and stir constantly. The mixture should thicken and darken a bit. My stove takes about 2 minutes and 15 seconds (you don’t want .the mixture to start smoking and set off your fire alarms).
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and use the wooden spoon to spread the nuts around.
- Sprinkle the sugar-free chocolate chips on top, and use the wooden spoon to press them into the brittle.
- Wait another minute and sprinkle the sea salt flakes on top.
- Let cool completely and break into 12 pieces.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Keto-friendly
Anita, I can’t get Erythritol here what do you suggest as an alternative?
Tea With Jennifer recently posted…Beware, be safe, it’s very real!
My mind does play a HUGE role in my healthy eating (or not so healthy eating!)
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I’ve experienced this. I can hardly think about cutting down without suddenly craving whatever it is I am trying to cut down on. I’m so thankful for great cooks who have come up with wonderful options for so many dietary needs.
Barbara Harper recently posted…Is It a Sin to Be Rich?
I’m quite familiar with the scarcity mindset when I think about my time…never enough, never enough. It’s only when I come to peace with the knowledge that God will always give me enough time to do what he wants done, that I can feel the abundance (although I’m still not good at it). Thanks for sharing this, Anita. I need to hear this message regarding food too.
Interesting article. Thank you for posting. I have to admit that I am not that familiar with the whole dieting world. After 12 years of deprivation and hunger where just having a hot dog and some ramen noodles was a treat I guess you see the world differently. When you face real hunger and lack due to financial constraints all concerns for diet disappear and you just would like to eat something, anything. Guess our perspective is just a little different. I suppose if you have the wealth then these diet things are important.
This looks like a great recipe!
You are so right about a scarcity mindset. As soon as I tell myself I can’t have or do something, that is the very thing I want!
Jerralea recently posted…Lady-in-Waiting
This recipe looks delicious!
I recently had to take antibiotics for a root canal I had done on a tooth, and the antibiotics messed up my gut and body. Instead of thinking of what I couldn’t eat, I wrote out a list of things I could. It really helped to turn to that list when I was hungry. I’m feeling much better now, almost back to normal after a month of feeling terrible.
Learning to think on what is good and dwelling on that has made a difference in what I eat as well.
Cathy recently posted…5 books on my future reading list
Thank you for the insightful article. I have fallen prey to the scarcity type of thinking many time on vacation. I am somewhat of a picky eater, so the minute I find so etching I like, I eat a ton of it, thinking I won’t be able to find anything else to eat. All it results in is overeating and gaining weight. Thank you for the recipe. Maree
Maree Dee recently posted…Do You Want a Grateful Heart? – Link-Up
Enjoyed your post – but wanted to say that brittle looks amazing. I think I will try it this weekend!!
I’ve had different versions of your “do not swallow” experience. These things that are never a problem anywhere in life become a problem when you are made to focus on them and prevent them from happening.
Wayne W Walls recently posted…The Benefits and Drawbacks of Coworking Spaces
Eating something tasty and healthy is so hard to find these days. A heartfelt thanks to this awesome recipe. Recently made this and I just love it. Stored some to eat as desserts when I want.
Well done Anita. Keep it up!
Kerline C. recently posted…Peppers stuffed with couscous