DAY Twelve March 11, 2018 A month of working on my wellness
I made it through my 24 hours of just veggies and I already feel reset. What a relief. I am reset and ready to move forward. Before moving forward, I wanted to discuss a few how I got heres with you all. Specifically, I want to address the things I have given up, the reasons why, and the results I have experienced. I would love to hear about your experiences too, so feel free to share them.
Good-bye to diet soda
I never drank regular soda except in an occasional rum and coke. When I was on the top of my drinking game I would even order a rum and diet coke, like it mattered. I did drink about 4-6 diet sodas a day. I was all about the diet coke, sometimes a diet sprite or ginger ale if I wanted something light (as if that even makes sense) and if I was buying large bottles, diet cream soda. Oh how I loved that diet cream soda. Here’s what happened, and this was about 12 years ago so some of the details are probably not 100% accurate. Two things, my dad quit drinking soda and I read that even if you drink diet soda, if you cut it out for a year you would lose 10 pounds. My dad inspired me as he talked about feeling better, that he was less gassy (perhaps pulling his finger would no longer get the same result as it did when I was a child), and that he genuinely felt less bloated in his mid-section and he could SEE a difference. My Dad’s influence is typically not enough to get me to do something, and did I say I loved my diet sodas. Well, shortly after dad quit soda I stumbled on this article that I mentioned above and that inspired me. I was looking to lose some weight and thought this was a good and fairly easy way to do it. Since then a lot more information has been mainstreamed about soda. Between the sugar & high fructose corn syrup (in regular soda), caffeine and those bubbles it’s freaking poison. Diet soda doesn’t have the same kind of sugar, but your hormones can’t distinguish so your body responds as if you are drinking the non-diet kind. Poison.
One of my wellness clients who was feeling stuck with her fitness goals and how she looked on the outside fought me about ditching the soda. I fought back hard because I knew she would see results and feel them too. Well, she just reported (literally like yesterday) she is basically off the poison and feels and looks healthier, not to mention her emotional/psychological wellness improved too, because she felt proud of herself. Love it!
I dabbled with being vegetarian in high school and college. Beer and pizza were still on the menu because they are meatless so that worked out for a while until I wanted a burger or Thanksgiving came up and what else could I eat but turkey. Also, I didn’t really like vegetables beyond traditional tossed salad so that was limiting. In my 20s-30s I went back to eating meat, eating whatever without much thought or connection to what I was putting in my body although I limited the meat I ate. Why I keep trying to limit or stop eating meat was, and still is, mostly a spiritual wellness thing for me.
I became vegetarian again in my late 30s. I still ate dairy products including eggs and I ate fish because can’t imagine my life without Sushi. I decided the day after my 40th birthday I was going to try to be vegan for a week. I was sure this was not going to last even the week because I love pizza (ate it at least once a week), I come from a long line of ice cream enthusiasts (I ate that almost every night, that’s not an exaggeration) and as far as I was concerned cheese belonged on everything. I picked the start day as the day after my birthday because I wanted to be sure eat gobs of ice cream cake (and I did) t. Well that was just under eight years ago and I never turned back. I do eat Sushi or other seafood when I feel like it. I will always have a bagel and lox with my family on Long Island. I will taste things that I am curious about. On a day to day basis though I do not eat animal including meat and dairy. I do not miss it. In fact, when I do try something, it feels spiritually off and some dairy makes me pretty sick. There’s good reason for that, which I will talk about in a later blog where I integrate the research. Another thing that I noticed when I stopped eating dairy was that my body changed. Weight that I used to hold in my hips and lower back, that did not respond to weight loss or my exercise regime disappeared. Nice perk! One last thing, I LOVE vegetables now and eat a huge variety of them. I actually feel weird and off center when I don’t get enough. Dr. Sara Gottfried recommends 8 cups of veggies a day, I usually reach that goals before dinner. As you can imagine I have no problem with regularity like many of my peers; another perk.
No Alcohol (for now)- No Sugar (need practice here)- No Gluten (Mostly)
The books that I am reading (see list below) and other ways that I have been educating myself (As a mental health counselor, I am particularly interested in how what you eat and how you take care of yourself impacts your mental health) all are making strong arguments for minimizing sugar and alcohol intake and much of what I am learning is making a similar case for gluten. I go no alcohol periodically which I find fairly easy except when there’s an event that involves champagne or meal that feels wrong without a glass of wine. I know that I will be drinking on our vacation in a few weeks because it would seem wrong to me not to start each day at the beach resort without having a mimosa.
Of course, alcohol and sugar are linked (chemically) and as easy as I find it to go months without alcohol, I find it challenging to go more than a few days without sugar. I wrote some about this yesterday and I will write more in the future. I will tell you that the first three days are tough and then it becomes easier unless you find yourself face to face with M&Ms. I also notice I have triggers, like I always want something sweet after a meal (there’s a reason for that, I’ll get back to you I just have to find the specific research on that) and I often feel like a need something sweet at work in my clinical office (I am not there every day so at least I have that going for me) and a night (again, there’s a reason for that, I’ll get back to you I just have to find the specific research on that too).
In no way did I ever plan to cut out gluten. I mean really, I am from Long Island, I am supposed to eat bagels! I love bread, I love to bake and eat what I make and for the love of GOD I am vegan, what’s left??!! The first time I did Dr. Sara Gottfried’s Hormone Reset Diet I played along and removed gluten as prescribed. I missed it, but like I said yesterday I really do love this reset. Anyway, when I added gluten back in I noticed that I felt like ass. Specifically, I felt tired and sluggish. I don’t have the time or desire to feel that way, so I am mostly gluten free. That gluten, like dairy, is sneaky in so many things, so you have to be vigilant. Again, there are good reasons why should remove gluten and then reintroduce it to see what happens. I will discuss what I have learned about why so many folks are having poor responses to gluten.
With Love & Gratitude~
What I have been reading:
A Mind of Your Own: The Truth about Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies and Reclaim Their Lives by Kelly Brogan, MD
The Hormone Cure by Sara Gottfried MD
Younger by Sara Gottfried MD
The Hormone Reset Diet by Sara Gottfried, MD
It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig
The Case Against Sugar by Gary Traub
The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone