This month I’m working on cleaning up my diet after more than two months of very indulgent eating. From the day the bag of Halloween candy entered our home, through the wedding, through Thanksgiving, through my birthday, through Christmas and New Year’s, it’s been a steady stream of candy, cookies, cakes, pies, champagne, bourbon, and beer. It’s been lovely. But it’s time to stop.
I don’t want to do anything as involved or restrictive as the Vegetarian Whole30-ish project I did last January, the main reason being that the complete removal of grains from my diet simply doesn’t work for me. I did have a few very positive takeaways from that experiment, though, that I’m going to implement this month. Here’s what I’ll be doing:
(Please note, I am not a dietician and am not advising this as a nutritional plan for anyone else, merely describing what I am doing that works for me. It’s something I arrived at based on my own experiences, taking into account what I’ve read about nutrition from various sources over the years.)
All kinds of vegetables and fruits
Minimally processed proteins (eg tofu, tempeh, nuts, beans, eggs)
Fats (olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, avocados)
Whole grains (eg brown rice, quinoa, oats)
Sugar (except naturally occurring as in fruits)
Flour & processed grains
The things I’m emphasizing should be present every day in every meal. The things I’m moderating should appear no more than once a day, I’m thinking. The things I’m avoiding should not be consumed at all this month, though if I make a mistake I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I’m also not scrutinizing all my ingredients lists in things like condiments, either. Does my beloved Tapatio contain added sugar? I’m not sure, but I’m not overly concerned, either.
I’m mainly trying to break the habit of having sweets and adult beverages at every possible occasion, and the habit of making a meal of things like cheese and crackers for dinner. I love those foods and the feeling of freedom and celebration that comes from having foods like that whenever I want during the holidays, but it’s too easy to get into the habit so deeply that it feels de rigeur — of course I’ll have wine, cheese, and pie for lunch! WHO DOESN’T?!
I already know from last year that the toughest part of this will be the booze and sweets. Especially on a Friday night after a long week of work. But I also know that breaking that habit is needed and will have positive results even after January is through. It’ll be a lot more easy and feel more natural to be moderate in my consumption of treats once the daily habit is broken.
My breakfast on day one of the plan (I started on January 2, for various reasons):
This is something I got in the habit of eating for breakfast last January, and it’s become a year-round favorite. Sautéed kale with lime juice and salt, two fried eggs, Tapatio. Side of avocado, also with lime and salt. It’s delicious. So here’s to a clean start to eating in 2014!