Pain: 6 out of 10
Cravings: 1 out of 10
Energy: 7 out of 10
Week one is in the books. Seven days of gluten free, dairy free, and red and orange ALCAT column free eating have passed and my life has CHANGED! All is right with the world! I feel AMAZING!!
BUT, in many ways, I did have a really good week. I have been asked, “How’s it going? Has it been hard?”, probably 30 times. The truth is, it really hasn’t been hard. Even Saturday, when we had friends over to watch the World Cup, I did just fine. There were so many temptations that are no longer “allowed” in the house regularly and I really didn’t have trouble staying away. I made sure there was plenty I could eat and after having such a positive week, the weekend was completely manageable.
I was in a really good mood all week. I mean, really good. My sugar cravings were next to nil. I still had the occasional after-meal hankering for some Power Berries or TRUE Chocolate Chip Cookies (I’m not sure those will ever go away. They are just so damn good.) but if it got bad, I popped a few frozen grapes in my mouth and the craving was nixed.
Now before you sugar lovers try to punch me for saying frozen grapes got it done, I will readily admit that frozen grapes are NOT Snickers bars. Or chocolate Oreo cookie dough with that delicious hardening, albeit health-wise suspect, chocolate dip on top Dairy Queen Blizzards where the chocolate dip encases your spoon and sticks to the sides of the cup and melts so sensually in your mouth…
Wait…what were we talking about it? Oh right – grapes do not equal candy and ice cream. I know this, but my point was not that frozen grapes live up to the high of a refined sugar hit. My point was that I wasn’t craving the “hit” at all. So relax, okay? I also wasn’t hungry. I had a plan. I stuck to it and my usual mid morning and late afternoon crashes just didn’t happen which lead to a noticeable increase in my energy level.
I have to say, though, the very best part of my week was this laser beam focus that has seemingly come out of nowhere. I was exponentially more productive at work. I was creative and motivated – personal traits that have been nonexistent for me over the last year. I was ready, willing, and able to meet the demands of the week. Even without getting the best sleep, I wasn’t exhausted day to day the way I had been lately.
Now, I can’t say with certainty these were direct results of what I was eating all week. I mean, I am easily persuaded and maybe a little placebo effect was in play considering I have only just begun this experiment. What I do think was a direct result of following this plan was feeling like I had direction and hope for the first time in forever and it was freeing. The incessant, obsessive thoughts about what I should eat or what I had eaten or what I would eat later weren’t there. And with their exit, I had time and energy to get things done – cheerfully, happily – and all without six power naps and four cups of coffee a day to do it. I emailed myself a few notes everyday to summarize what I ate and any highs or lows. The evening of Day 2 I wrote:
It’s funny the clarity and productivity I get when I’m not consumed with hating myself or choosing a meal or beating myself up over making the wrong food choice.
Day 2 I wrote that. Not three weeks from now or after six months of these changes, but Day 2. It is shocking the amount of time and energy I spend on disliking/second guessing/punishing myself. It’s a full time job. I don’t have room for much else. Being rid of those thoughts this week was like having a noose loosened and my potential unleashed. I had a glimpse of what life could be like without all the yelling in my head, and it was…intoxicating.
Maybe this is how I am supposed to feel: Well. Whole. Happy.
Maybe now that I’ve had just a taste of that life, I’ll be able to find my way back more quickly if and when I derail.
Prior to this week, I didn’t know what I was looking for, which made it a whole lot more difficult to find it. But now? Now I know. I can be well. I can be whole. I can be happy. And I will be…possibly one gluten free, dairy free, red and orange ALCAT column-free meal day at a time.
I leave for NOLA on Thursday. I will join the rest of my cult members, er, tribe members for the Les Mills Quarterly of the year…maybe of our lifetime and my goals for the weekend are to stay focused on why we are there and to not get consumed by the fact that I will not be tasting a beignet or a po’ boy. And also, to lick Sarah Robinson. And Rach. And definitely Josef.
This Week’s Eats
|The shopping list|
|Food prep for the week|
Maple Chili Pork Chops
Served with haricot verts sauteed with garlic in bacon fat and white wine.
I enjoyed it quite a bit. Mark and Jaime weren’t sold.
Chicken Bacon Rice Bowl
I liked this a lot…the first 6 times I ate it this week.
We still have some left. Please come eat it. Please.
Fully Loaded Citrus Marinated Chicken Lettuce Wraps
This was the second time we’ve made this and this time we had to tweak to stay away from my red and orange columns, What you see above is basically a citrus marinated chicken breast with bacon on top, regular guac instead of the pineapple guac, and served with TRUE’s mango jicama salad. I really enjoyed the pineapple guac from PaleOMG so do try it!
|Whole Foods Organic Rotisserie Chicken
Served with swiss chard sauteed in bacon fat and doused in celtic sea salt
Friday night save. Had nothing planned and found this. Didn’t love the chicken or the swiss chard.
Hummus Crusted Chicken
Served with summer squash and zucchini
It was a HIT – all around! Delish!