Friday, June 22, 2012

Journey From Sloth and Despair: June Edition

You may recall that I have been working towards health and well-being through clean eating.  No?  Here are some links for you to peruse:

Journey from sloth and despair: the beginning
January sloth and despair
More of the Journey

Anyway.  I spent a good month cleaning up my act this spring.  I eliminated ALL fast food (ok - nearly all), just about all processed food (boxed, bagged, prepared, colored, canned, jarred, etc.), all simple carbs. (potatoes, pasta, bread), and even grains/legumes (oats, rice, beans, wheat, etc.).  Also no alcohol or sodas (ok -- I did have the occasional Diet Pepsi.  I'm no angel.).

I ate (nearly) solely fresh meat and fish (lean beef, chicken, turkey, seafood), and low-carb veggies and fruit for over a month.  Why?  Because I needed to break my attachment to food.  I needed to see what my body was like without chemicals and junk in it.

It was SUPER difficult for the first several days.  I went to bed dreaming of cake and wine and mac 'n' cheeze.  I woke, craving cereal and donuts and danishes.

BUT: things I started noticing:
  • My stomach was happier.  It was peaceful (if you know what I mean)
  • My skin was GREAT (with all the water I was consuming)
  • I would wake,and feel less muzzy and fuzzy and gross
  • My allergies improved (could be that the atmospheric allergens decreased, though)
  • I started to really LOVE fish (tilapia and salmon are lovely!)
  • Fruit became a delicious dessert, especially strawberries
  • I totally stopped craving fast food and high-fat snacks
  • Diet Pepsi became a treat (one glass, with ice) rather than sustenance
After about a month of this, I decided it was time to start adding back a greater amount of foods.  I added more proteins, fats, and fruits/veggies.  Also alcohol in small amounts.

Things I noticed:
  • My body likes pure meats better than processed (sausage, bacon, lunch meats).  I know this because I had a few stomach aches AND I'd feel kind of grody after eating a salad with chopped lunchmeat and bacon
  • Avocados are WONDERFUL, no matter how high-fat
  • Cherries are good for me
  • Diet Pepsi is still not that great for me.  I feel weirdly chemical-ish after drinking much of it
  • Alcohol now gives me a gross feeling the next day.  Even just one glass.  Sigh.  
  • Real cream (whipped, with just a tiny bit of sugar) is terrific on berries as a dessert.  Just a bit.  And I don't care if it IS high-fat.  It's deelish.  And doesn't make me feel gross like CoolWhip does.  My mouth doesn't feel all slimy afterwards.
  • Whole, raw almonds are a fantastic snack.
  • My body NEEDS lots of water. No matter what.
  • Triscuits are grossly slimy feeling, and Pringles?  EW.
My next step will be adding back grains, legumes, and so on.

This has been amazingly enlightening. 

Some questions I had:
  • Is it more expensive to eat "whole-ish-ly"?  Not that I've noticed.  Pre-packaged foods are fairly expensive, and fast food is too.  I buy a bag of frozen tilapia fillets ($9/12 of them), a bag of frozen turkey patties ($8/12 patties) (just ground turkey, pre-portioned), and lots of veggies/fruit, and maybe a buy one get one free steak, and I'm set for the week.  I buy almonds on sale, and lemons/limes by the bag.  
  • Is it hard to dine out at restaurants?  Well, kind of.  Depending on where you go.  We went to an amusement park, and UGH.  But I did find a restaurant that had a big salad.  However, the protein available was chicken strips (breaded).  But still, could have been worse.  At most restaurants (not crappy ones) I can order grilled protein (chicken, steak, fish) with veggies.  I just ask for no butter or sauce.  I ignore the breadbasket, and request no croutons/bread/junk on the plate.  Mexican places are excellent, because I can order fajitas with no tortillas (with extra lettuce), and make a fabulous salad.  I even have some guacamole.  No margaritas, though.
  • Do I end up cooking twice to accommodate my family?  Sometimes.  But mostly, I just make them additional sides (potatoes, pasta, breads), and they eat my healthy stuff PLUS the other stuff.  
  • Do I feel like I'm obsessing about food?  Kind of.  But I realized that I already was focused on food.  "Can I get away with eating pizza?" and "what will I make for dinner" and "what kind of martini" and so on.  Now, it's just the opposite direction.  "How can I make this a clean meal?" or "Will they be able to make this without breading?" and so on.
I'm indulging in small amounts of full-fat sour cream, butter, and olive oil.  I'm learning that veggies are NOT supposed to be just vehicles for dressings and cheeses and sauces.

I don't want to be all religious about this.  All fanatical.  But something needed to happen.  I needed to clean up my act.  I've done it!  I have no illusions.  I"m going to eat pizza again.  I'm going to eat cake and drink wine.  I love tortillas and bread.  I do.  But ... I really needed a re-set.

2 comments: said...

Okay, Jon Gosselin publicly apologized for being a giant toad, and was very gracious about his ex-wife (which would be hard--she's a giant pain in the ass if you ask me) so perhaps we need to cut him a few inches of slack. This will be a test of our still soft non-judgment muscles...

Good job with the clean eating! I wasn't much of a junk eater before, but am trying to ramp up the clean foods. (If you ever liked Cool Whip, you were in serious trouble--it was time for an intervention!)

Thanks for writing clever posts that keep me from getting any real work done. The interweb'z gonna be the death of me.

Sanstrousers said...

I, too, feel like crapola if I try to drink even a smidge of alcohol. Damn. I did so want to be one of the cool kids! Good for you for being all healthy!