Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My First Big Update Post

Oh my gosh. It's been almost a month since I last posted. It's not like I don't think about you every day. I do. I wish there were more time . . .

There is so much that I want to share with you, it's actually hard to begin. But begin I must, so here goes:

I have been working with Chef AJ for the past month. She is coaching me privately based on the program that she runs in Los Angeles called "Chef AJ's Ultimate Weight Loss." I have learned so much from this experience. It's been painful at times. Sometimes she tells me things that sting, but I need to hear them so I put on my thick skin and press forward.

The good news is that her program is changing my life. As you can probably tell from my blog these past few years, I became what I will call an "unsuccessful plant based eater." Why? Well, I loved the plant based food, but I wasn't able to keep my weight down. This made me miserable. Imagine being a blogger of Whole Food Plant Based living, a lifestyle that promises that you will maintain a healthy weight, and not maintaining a healthy weight. It's madness.

And the other good news?

I'm losing weight.

I wasn't losing weight doing power yoga five times a week and eating what I thought was a perfectly reasonable plant based diet. In fact, I was gaining weight at an alarming rate. But on Chef AJ's plan, I'm losing.

Based on my coaching from Chef AJ, I've made a lot of changes to my diet and I want to share them with you in no particular order:

(1) I'm not doing much cooking anymore. At least not from recipes. Isn't that nuts? And my time in the kitchen has been cut way down. It's more of a system of simple meal ideas that can be thrown together in infinite combinations depending on what you have in your pantry, fridge and freezer. And everything has been so delicious! And mealtime is way less stressful.

Turns out that variety backfires on people with food addictions. I'm not going to go into the gory details in this blog posting, but it's just better if I keep things really simple when it comes to meals. And being a food and recipe blogger? It was probably a symptom of my disease rather than something that actually helped me to recover.

(2) I am certainly eating in between meals. I know, I know. Totally taboo on the Nutritarian plan. Toxic hunger, right?  Well, I found out that I do much better at lunch and dinner and all through the evening if I eat when I am hungry and not ignore my body's natural hunger signals. Right now, it's 4 pm and I'm munching on raw snap peas. If I ignored my hunger at this time of day I would be like a raging maniac by 5:30 pm and I would start putting anything in my mouth that was within arms reach--even foods that I know are poison!

(3) I'm putting grains in my Hugh Jass salads. Yes, grains! And I am losing weight. I have been keeping frozen quinoa and frozen brown rice in the freezer at work. I warm it up right before I take off for lunch, and then dump the grains into whatever raw or steamed vegetable dish I can get out at a restaurant. Combined with a bean based (not nut based) dressing that I bring from home, I am satiated and happy after lunch.

(4) I eat a banana or a piece of cooked sweet potato when I get home from work. Again, another trick that keeps me from grazing all night long in search of that feeling of fullness and satisfaction.

(5) I keep a food log and I send it to Chef AJ every single day. I've kept a food log on and off over the years, but sending it to a coach that has the ability and balls to call you out on things that are not in your best interest? Like Martha says, that's a good thing!

(6) I'm eating nuts very, very occasionally, while eating grains or potatoes with lunch and dinner. It's made me calmer and happier and ultimately thinner. Something to do with my brain chemistry, which I'm doing a lot of my own research on right now, but if you suffer from compulsive overeating or food addiction, it might be worth looking in to yourself.

(7) I'm avoiding sugar in all forms except fruit, which includes dates. And I'm eating a lot of fruit. Thank G-d for summer! I'm avoiding oil like the plague and most salt (that has been the trickiest one to eliminate entirely, but I'm not very concerned right now).

(8) I'm eating one pound of steamed green vegetables for breakfast, and it's not just kale! Brussels sprouts, zucchini, string beans, snap peas, broccoli, etc. I'm happy to report that after one month, I don't even need to dress them with anything or pair them with anything if I don't want to.

(9) I've been given the task of eating another pound of steamed or raw green vegetables before dinner, and you know what? I'm looking forward to it! I have a strong feeling that it is going to help me tremendously in the weight department.

(10) I saw the movie "Fed Up!" (twice!) and I'm totally pissed off. So mad that I am finally strong enough to stand up to my kids and say "we must do something to end this vicious cycle." I removed some processed foods from my home that I stupidly started to rely upon on a daily basis. I used the excuse that I was too tired at the end of the day to start cooking two or even three different meals. It was poor judgement on my part. There's a lot of crying and wining in my house right now, so check back in with me in a month.

So to sum it all up, I'm not a Nutritarian, nor am I a Starchivore. I'm the best of both, and it's working for me in ways I never could have imagined.

Look out for updates on my progress, and in the meantime, I want to know what's going on with you? I miss you!

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