This first week was all about survival and acceptance. I’m happy to report that when I weighed myself this morning I had lost 7 pounds! 7 pounds in 7 days is amazing and made it all worth it, here’s how I did it:
Day 1: WITHDRAW. Like, Seriously.
This is harder than I thought. My withdrawal symptoms are intense. I have a headache that I can’t shake and psychologically I have this feeling of fear, dread and being very uncomfortable. This is what happened today:
Breakfast way okay, I had an apple and a banana and took my vitamins. I made a large pot of what I call Mexican beans: black, pinto, and kidney beans with onion, garlic, green bell peppers, corn, tomatoes and green chilies. Now, when I usually make this dish I use olive oil and salt while I cook and then dowse my serving with Chipotle flavored Tabasco sauce–and it is kick ass! This time I “water sauteed” the veggies and did not add any salt or hot sauce. The result was NOT kick-ass.
Lunch was, by far, the most difficult meal for me: My husband and mother-in-law were having turkey sandwiches with chips and I was settling down to a large spinach salad with grape tomatoes, chopped crimini mushrooms, red onions, blueberries, pepita seeds and a no-oil sesame dressing I picked up at Whole Foods. As I shoveled the salad in my mouth, I couldn’t pretend to care about the conversation at the table. I was fiending–I wanted to use. I thought back to all the episodes I’ve seen of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and then I understood what Dr. Fuhrman was saying about most Americans being food addicts. I surely was reacting to this change like an addict! Everything in my mind and body was telling me to quit the diet–stop right now! I was seriously panicked. As I silently fought off this feeling at lunch, I felt so anxious and annoyed by everyone and everything and my husband described me as being “quiet and in my own world.” I was fighting myself, talking back to that voice in my head saying: “give up; put it off to start some other day; lets eat pizza for dinner, we earned it for being so good so far–no one would have to know!” Thank God I had told my husband and mother-in-law about what I wanted to accomplish, it was this self-induced peer pressure that kept me from tossing my salad and beans in the trash and heading for my favorite drug: chips.
I stuck to the plan! I made it through lunch–eating the whole salad and a big bowl of beans. The food sucked. I ate two clementine oranges for “dessert” and this fruit settled me down tremendously. I told my husband and mother-in-law about all the crazy thoughts that had come up in my mind during lunch–talking about how I was feeling helped a lot! First bit of advice: TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES WHAT YOU’RE DOING, IT WILL KEEP YOU HONEST.
DAY 2: Motivated & Garlic Breath
After the hell of the first day, I woke up without the throbbing headache! Don’t get too excited, it was back again before I noshed on my breakfast of banana slices and raw almond butter (1 tbsp.). Honestly, it was a small price to pay for losing 2 pounds over night!
BAM! I am back in the game! Seeing the scale finally budge gave me the motivation I need to make it through today! Warning: You will now become annoyed by your own garlic breath! Using fresh garlic in your cooking, like Dr. Fuhrman recommends, really takes a toll on your freshness. If you feel like you and your husband barely have a chance to smooch as it is, this will seal the no-lip-locking deal!
Another heads up: You will get really annoyed with TV ads. Well, the fact that more than 50% of the commercials on TV are food related, you can see why. At least a heroine addict doesn’t get his senses assaulted when he chooses to escape into some bad reality TV, or the latest episode of “Revenge.” Well, us food addicts can’t catch a break in that department so be ready to look the other way.
DAY 3: I Made Something That Tastes Good!!!
Big news! No headaches today–none at all! The scale keeps moving, more than I could have ever hoped and now I’m feeling invested. I CAN do this! I AM doing this! Breakfast was a banana with 1 tbsp. of raw almond butter and an apple for good measure. But my highlight was lunch. I was blessed with baby Kamryn taking an extra-long nap and a spontaneous bout of culinary creativity. I made a “Stir Fry” with frozen broccoli, peas and tofu, sauteed in vegetable broth with minced garlic. Even without using salt or oil it tasted good! At the end of the “broth sauteing,” I added a cup of quinoa (remember you can only have 1 cup of whole grains per day). I breezed through my salad to get to this delicious stir fry and I actually felt like: I could live this way!
Dinner was not so great because I had to finish my leftovers of Mexican beans from Day 1. Luckily my hubby helped my finish them off (he had the aid of hot sauce) so now I can make more creative and yummy dishes like I did for lunch. Fruit Freezer again for dessert. I’m a survivor! Queue Beyonce!
DAY 4: TMI Alert & The Power of Fruit
So, I poo a lot now. I always was very regular but now I’m just proficient. In the morning and at least once after every meal. Needless to say my husband is not thrilled about my new bathroom habits. Unfortunately, my #2s are quite filled with veggie matter and one flush is not always enough–this was politely brought to my attention by my toddler asking: “Daddy, what did Mommy leave in the potty?” Followed by chuckling. Some more advice: Be ready to do more “business” and if you’re the kinda gal who doesn’t like to fart, this may not be the right diet for you!
I also have to report that this way of eating keeps you feeling very even: you’re never full, and when you’re hungry it’s not your-stomach-is-growling-like-a-small-bulldog-puppy kind of hunger. It is controlled. I imagine our forefathers (or more accurately, fore-mommas) feeling this sensation and knowing that they either find food for the next meal or go without–their body was equally prepared for either outcome–and so was their mind. And some of us can’t give up dairy? Makes you think…
The highlight of my days are my “fruit freezers” as I call them. I
am was a legend at Yogurtland, so as you can imagine I have a hearty sweet tooth. I blend frozen mangoes, strawberries, bananas and pineapples with fresh blueberries and 3/4 cup almond milk in my Ninja. (You can get big bags of frozen organic fruit at Costco and it’s a great value.) I finish off with a tbsp. of ground flax seeds. Then, everything makes sense. The lifeless grazing of my ridiculously large salad, my disappointment at the lack of flavor salt in my cooking, and the realization that: “Oh Laurdy I’s Gots A Long Ways to Go!” I let go of all the day’s mental struggle and just surrendered to my fruit freezer.
DAY 5: Rebellion
Down to a number on my scale that I haven’t seen in almost a year, I started the day feeling pretty good. Losing 5 pounds in 5 days is nothing to complain about! I had an early breakfast of 1/2 cup oatmeal with 3/4 cup almond milk and 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds. Everything was fine.
Later in the day I made everyone else their lunch before I decided to whip mine up. I was beyond the point of hunger.
All of a sudden, I was just really mad. Mad that I had to exert so much effort trying to think of some way to make this kind of eating taste better. Sick of all the flavors I had tasted so far. It was bad. But I realize that I shouldn’t have waited till 3 o’clock to eat my lunch. I was more of a crab than my three-and-a-half-year old coming off a lollipop high and two hours past nap time. Yup, not a good look. My husband was not amused by my un-amused demeanor.
So, I decided to do something I thought I would never do while on this diet: use only vinegar on my ginormous bowl of salad (a.k.a. my main dish). I was so sick of the Whole Foods Sesame Ginger No-Oil dressing that I had been using for the past 4 days that I almost threw up in my mouth at the thought of having to use it again. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I bit the bullet and lightly sprinkled some of the Rice vinegar I had picked up at Trader Joe’s. More advice alert: VINEGAR WILL TRICK YOUR TASTE BUDS INTO THINKING YOU’RE EATING SOMETHING SALTY! Everyone else in the world may have already known this (duh? Salt and Vinegar potato chips, right?), but when I read that Dr. Fuhrman eats his daily salads with just different vinegars I thought: Yeah right! Well, it works! It makes it taste better and therefore easier to eat. After lunch I felt much better.
Dinner was more salad (this time drenched in vinegar) with garbanzo beans, chopped raisins, tomatoes, apple slices and sunflower seeds. Then I made an “Italian” inspired cooked veggie dish of eggplant, Cremini mushrooms, onions, garlic, shallots and basil with no-added-salt tomato chunks. I flavored it with a salt-free seasoning blend I picked up from Whole Foods. It was like a non-salted Italian stew without any cheese, sausage (or anything sexy). It sufficed. I ate it knowing that I would get my fruit freezer reward!
DAY 6: Saving $$$
So, I’ve already gone to the grocery store twice this week. I didn’t realize how much salad I would be consuming! Buying fresh means buying more often.
My husband is always skeptical about how much diets cost (we had an incident on the South Beach Diet back in 2005). I have to remind him that even though we’ll be going to the grocery store more we will be saving in the end. I’ve had to remind him of all the dinners out, all the Chipotle lunches (I’ve eaten there so frequently that if a Chipolte recently opened in your area, you’re welcome!) and all the Yougurtland desserts we’d enjoy every month too.
Word of advice: Yes, you will be going to the grocery store more frequently. So you have to plan your menu and have a strategy. This is not my strong suit, but I had to break down and come up with a meal plan so I wouldn’t have to “think” about what I was having for a given meal. And also so I wouldn’t be running to Trader Joe’s everyday because I forgot something! Plan ahead to make it easier to stick to the plan. Dr. Fuhrman advises doing your cooking on the weekend, making a big pot of soup or stew and having leftovers during the week.
DAY 7: Eat to Live Tailgating
Let’s face it, Super Bowl is just one big excuse to do two of America’s favorite past times: drink & eat. I saved my best recipe for this day specifically so I wouldn’t feel deprived. This Thai Curry dish was so fulfilling that I combined both my dinner and lunch meals. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, it will finish off your week the right way! You can get the recipe here!
OFFICIAL WEIGHT LOST FOR MY FIRST WEEK: 7 pounds!
And stay tuned, I will be updating my Eat to Live journal every Monday until I have finished the 6 week plan!