I recently wrote about my attempt at "recharging" myself, food-wise. While I'm proud to be able to say I've stuck to the new diet completely, I can also say that I've learned a lot about myself in the less-than-one-week I've been eating differently. I've also determined some of what seems to works well out of the "diet".
I have been eating puffed brown rice cereal (only one ingredient!) with almond milk, except for yesterday when I gave into a craving for "diet approved" fruit. I have been putting lots of time into my meal prep, which, at times, throws my schedule off (but only by about 15 minutes or so) - so, for the most part, I've been eating regularly, four or five times a day. My lunches have consisted of a minimalist vegetable chicken stir fry with brown rice and black beans with veggies and quinoa. Dinners have varied, from a huge salad with some sliced chicken to rice pasta with sauce (that...was...interesting) to salmon with quinoa and veggies. My snacks have been rice crackers with local fig goat cheese (my new addiction), carrots and hummus, and celery with almond butter (my other new addiction). I've mostly been drinking water, massive amounts of water, since tea sweetened with honey is a tad too "bee puke" for my taste.
And, y'know what? I'm starting to lose weight, already. Y'know what else? My mood isn't better, and I'm feeling deprived. Shit.
My ultimate goal is to be happier and healthier. Mind you, I haven't been able to get in as much exercise as I'd like, which will supposedly contribute to the happy factor. However, it's a challenge to think to myself, "Wait. It took me how long last year to find whole-grain, no-HFCS hamburger buns to use with my free-range beef...and now I can't have a hamburger all summer?" The wheat thing, I think, is pretty much the worst part.
That being said, I'm going to stick with the diet at least until the end of the weekend, to be able to say that it was accomplished to term (for a full week). What I will take forward with me on my journey of edibles is the following:
- The "4-5 small meals" thing works for me. That, I keep.
- The snacks have to be HEALTHY and portion-controlled. Luckily, I've landed upon some mighty tasty alternatives that I'd gladly gobble every day.
- Take time to enjoy your food preparation. There were times that I was thinking, "This is going to be crap", so I didn't enjoy the process OR the food in the end. When I know I'm cooking something I'll enjoy, I enjoy the experience all the more. So, while I won't be cooking crap
- I want my kids to be raised with organic (when possible), always hormone-free cow's milk. One day, when I'm complaining about the price of it, I'll remember the time that I looked at the price for a quart of goat's milk only to remind myself that there's always water to drink. I've got osteoporosis in my lineage, so let's just say, I'm going back to the moo.
- I survived without sugar. Need to buy more agave, but it will suffice in the future. And, hey, I can even have cereal without sweetener! Get that! So, yeah.
- Caffeine. Hmm. I've lived without it, for the most part, in the past. But, this week I realized that we had recently purchased a stash of awesome Twinings (Dave's favorite brand) green teas with various natural flavors...only to determine that they aren't caffeine-free. So, guess what this means for my rules. No, I'm not throwing them out (this whole "wasting food to start a diet" thing freaks me out); it means that I'm doing caffeine in only very small doses, such as green tea. No coffee. No soda. (This also cuts out the sugar.)
- Speaking of beverages, water is my friend! It's always at my side now, and I'd like to keep it that way.
- Again, with the beverage thing...dude. There are some nights that you just need wine. Or a Woodchuck hard apple cider. Or friends are coming over. While I was no alcoholic by any means before, I will go back to the *rare* alcoholic beverage. What's the point of living life if you can't enjoy it?
- Fruits and veggies are our friends! I'm not necessarily down with the fact that this diet shunned fruits to, essentially, the top of the food pyramid. I know they have more sugars in them, but they have so many other nutritional benefits (and if, when I have a sweet tooth, I reach for fruit, isn't it better than reaching for a brownie?). So, while I'm definitely going to continue eating lots o' veggies, fruits will be a bigger part of the equation that it was this past week.
- Wheat. Aaaahhhh, wheat. I didn't have a sandwich. I didn't eat toast. My pasta was made of rice (and had a weird consistency and after taste, in my opinion). It was kind of brutal. So, while I will cut back on how much of my diet is wheat-based, and will concentrate on whole-grain and healthier wraps, it will be back in my diet. Again, I'm quite sure I don't have celiac's, so it's not doing me much harm to have it.
And, I know what you're saying; "Meg, you didn't even give it a full week! You can't judge it yet!" And, yes, I feel a bit like a failure. But, if I'm going to write this blog (which I do enjoy doing), I'd rather tell the truth and talk about my mistakes along the way - and how I learn from them - than continue very unhappily going from a borderline foodie to someone who altogether hated food.
I've learned a lot from this experience; most importantly, the fact that I need structure in order to control myself and what I eat. I'm thinking of starting to construct weekly menus, whenever possible, to not only rein in our spending, but to know exactly what I'm eating and when. This will be helpful especially when school starts back up, and will hopefully keep us healthy while we direct our show next season.
Thanks for reading, and for, I hope, understanding that I'm at least trying to fix my ways (learning along the way) to achieve a happier, healthier life.