Yesterday was the last day of my 10 day shred, which was an elimination diet of sorts: No gluten, no dairy, no alcohol. Lots of veggies, fruits, and lean protein, plus nuts and seeds. One or two protein shakes a day. Start the day with a detox tonic: 1 tsp. of apple cider vinegar, 2 T. lemon juice, 4 T. cranberry juice. Only one caffeine drink a day.
I'm pleased to report it was largely successful. Since I have written about it occasionally, I thought I'd write up a final report, for those who are interested in that sort of thing.
First, the elimination, and how that went:
No gluten: I had a meal replacement bar several times when I was out of my office and away from home and looking for something to tide me over. Did those bars contain any wheat? But overall, I was successful in avoiding gluten. I ate other grains, notably oats.
No dairy: I had a smidge of cheese with 3 restaurant meals--but otherwise, completely successful.
No alcohol: completely successful
Lots of veggies, fruits, and lean protein, plus nuts and seeds: completely successful. But I don't feel I deserve credit for this, as I was already doing this, for years and years (of course, along with not so lean proteins).
One or two protein shakes a day: completely successful
Start the day with a detox tonic: 1 tsp. of apple cider vinegar, 2 T. lemon juice, 4 T. cranberry juice: One morning, before a fasting blood test, I skipped this. One morning, I forgot. But otherwise successful.
Only one caffeine drink a day: completely successful.
So, what did I learn? Many things:
--I already knew I ate a lot of bread at the restaurant where I usually have lunch at least once a week. I usually have 3 rolls, with butter. I thought I would feel deprived as I watched my lunchmates having bread. I did not.
--A larger thought on gluten: most of the gluten that I consume during a normal day would be in total and complete junk: cookies that someone brings in, other treats, bread at a restaurant that has no nutritive value. I don’t eat that stuff every day, but I eat it often enough that I noticed the lack of it, the walking by the cookies and donuts, the deciding not to bake because I’d be breaking the gluten fast, the passing up of free pizza on Pizza Friday. In the past 10 days, I’d have eaten junk on at least 7 of the 10 days (and maybe 10!) if I hadn’t been avoiding gluten. Sobering to realize this aspect of my eating life, this bit that had been completely outside my notice. I have been saying, “I’ll have this treat on this one day. It’s only one day.” I have been unaware of how often I say that. I suspect it’s daily. Let me start/keep tracking that.
--I expected to miss my liquid calories, wine and milky coffee, and I did. But it's good to remember that there are other alternatives.
--I was allowed nuts, which quickly became my treat of choice. I might have lost more weight if I had restricted nuts. Some days I ate as much in cashew calories as I would have in cheese and wine calories.
--I also became aware of how often I want a treat.
This insight is not new, but good to be reminded—there are many points of the day when I want to put something in my mouth because I want a treat—not because it’s my birthday, not because it’s a truly special day, but because I want something to make the moment special, because I feel I deserve a treat, simply for making it through a different chunk of the day. I want to infuse moments with meaning, not by being aware of them, but by putting something in my mouth, preferably something with calories. It's interesting (and depressing?) to realize how much work I still have to do in this area.
And yes, I lost weight: about 4 pounds in 10 days. It's inspired me to keep going.
I'm glad I did this 10 day shred. It's been a time of insights, many of them not exactly new--but it's good to be reminded again.
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