Remember when, a few years back, I used to keep that saying taped to my fridge, No food tastes as good as being skinny feels. And, no matter how right that expression was, it rarely stopped me from opening said fridge and binging on something naughty, if I was so inclined. It just laughed in my face when I went to put the (nearly empty, probably) container back inside when I was finished. Like Maggie said, the remorse for eating "bad" food is instantaneous. And for good reason. The new saying I'd like taped to my fridge is:
No food tastes as good as eating raw feels.
You see, for me at least, eating poorly comes from one of two reasons:
1. I am eating for emotional reasons, not physical ones.
2. I am eating because I am thirsty or craving actual nutrition that I am not getting.
In the last week, I have hit a couple rough patches - and for good reason. My daughter turned four years old, which was a bit of an emotional thing (she is getting so grown up!) AND another type of challenge too: we had four birthday celebrations for her. FOUR! From the family party (bagels and donuts last Sunday) to the actual birthday celebration (lunch at the club with Grandma and Papa, which boasted ooey, gooey comfort food followed by a molten chocolate cake) to the birthday dinner at home (followed by amazing cupcakes from Sweets bakery) to the kid party (my favorite bakery's cake at home then an outing to the movie theater with 6 little girls under the age of six), I somehow managed to opt for the garden salad, the bag of carrots, the handful of berries every single time. It was hard, really really hard. But I did it. I didn't lick the frosting from my fingers cutting the luscious pink cake, I didn't take even one bite of that old-fashioned glazed donut...I didn't sneak a handful of movie popcorn at Beauty and the Beast 3D...rather, I marched on, eating raw, following the rules. Then, in the ultimate act of self-sacrifice, I choked down a glass of beet juice like it was that Three Wisemen shot I did on my 21st birthday (I know I should't admit this, it is SO uncool of me, but I HATE BEETS). Then spent the next hour heaving and nauseous. THAT WAS THE LAST STRAW. I about lost it! (As you heard in Friday's post.)
BUT..since Friday (Thursday, actually, I posted before I started the day on Friday), I have been given lots of advice, via comments and in person, that have really changed my outlook. And I've been experimenting. And I think I learned a lot. Here's what I was doing wrong:
1. I was letting myself get TOO HUNGRY (I have a big appetite anyway but being a breastfeeding mother and a runner and keeping up with the four kids means that I need to keep myself fed). I had taken the "Fruit until lunch" rules to mean: get up at 6:30 in the morning, suck down 8-10 ounces of Green lemonade, eat a bowl of fruit, do the million things I have to do in the morning...and drink a bunch of coffee so I don't get tempted to eat anything else until lunch. And what was happening?...I was okay, hanging in there, starting to lose it...SNAP!...STARVING (or dehydrated, masquerading as starving) and reached for something filling, like way too many nuts or a Lara Bar - something that felt "filling" -in hopes of feeling better. That brings me to the next point.
2. I AM DEHYDRATED all the time. I don't drink enough water. Or juice. And I drink way too much coffee (read: diuretic!). Bad bad.
3. I AM UNPREPARED. While I have started meal planning (dinner) and juicing at night before bed if the morning will be too rushed, I have not stocked my house, my car...or my juicer...with the stuff I need for my busy, active day...and to ward off the afternoon blood sugar crash.
And speaking of that crash. That's how I've always been. I try mind over matter or whatever to stop myself from eating and I do okay for a while but then I have this MAJOR CRASH where I can't concentrate, can't make a decision, start snapping at Shawn and the kids, feel like I'm going to cry if I don't eat something NOW. And, being in that position makes it really hard to make good choices. I know the nuts/dates/Lara Bar food group (like Maggie said yesterday) is what I'm going to reach for in that situation every time because I want to feel full fast. But there are two things wrong with that:
1. I HATE FEELING FULL. I hate that feeling. Full, for me, means feeling fat. Bloated. Sluggish. Uncomfortable. Hence, the immediate regret. Also, in a weird irony, I feel more sluggish, less energy and decide to just eat more, hoping it will perk me up. Never happens. Damn viscous cycle.
2. MY BODY was probably DEHYDRATED and craving less dense foods and I fed it with the wrong thing AND my body was probably craving nutrients which I just deprived it of getting by eating less nutrient-dense foods.
So...here's what I am going to do:
1. Drink 20 ounces of Green Lemonade in the morning.
2. Drink another juice at some point late morning when my blood sugar threatens to plummet.
3. DRINK WATER. I just heard a couple of great ideas from friends at a party last weekend, and, putting them all together, this is my new WATER PLAN: I am going to keep one of those glass to-go bottles with me at all times filled with water (I hate the taste of plastic and/or metal in my water). I am going to Think Spa and float fruit or cucumber slices in a big glass water pitcher in my fridge. Also, I am going to think of that pitcher as my daily water tally and make sure it's gone by the end of the day.
4. KEEP A 2-LB BAG OF BABY CARROTS WITH ME AT ALL TIMES. Thanks, Emily for this trick. It was a LIFE SAVER at the movie theater. One of the perks of living in MN is that my car temperature is pretty darn close to my refrigerator temperature, so I am going to keep a bag in there at all times! (BTW, do you think I'm going to start looking orange, like I got a spray tan, if I keep eating all these carrots?)
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, and in keeping with what Maggie said about CHEATERS NEVER WIN, I'm going to stop eating for the wrong reasons, and stop looking for the Loopholes in the Detox Diet. No more: Eat as Much as You Crave because it says "Raw" on the package...as a matter of fact, no more eating things that come out of a package. Period. Not this week. I'd like to start thinking of Nuts, Bananas, Lara Bars in the same way I think of dark chocolate. A lovely treat - but a little goes a long way. They are NOT a staple of this diet, but more like an accessory.
MY PLAN FOR THIS WEEK:
- I will drink 20 ounces of Green Lemonade every morning.
- I will start my day with something that feels comforting but that is not cheating, namely my new UNCEREAL (a bowl of berries, drizzled in almond milk, eaten with a spoon).
- I will then eat ONLY RAW FRUITS AND VEGETABLES UNTIL DINNER.
- I will drink a glass of water first when I feel RAVENOUS and TWO glasses of water for every cup of coffee.
- I will drink ONE FRUIT JUICE in the morning and MORE VEGGIE JUICES in the afternoon.
- I will not eat from the nuts/seeds/dried fruit group as a snack, only incurring those foods if part of a planned dinner.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: I will NOT let a small mishap set me off course but continue on, no matter what.
So, what do you think? Will this work? So far, so good. Thanks, as always, for listening and for ALL THE GREAT ADVICE!