21 Day Restore: Results

 

Happy Monday lads!

I hope we all are alive and kickin’ this morn. I had a great weekend spent with family starting off with with a Red Sox game with the broskis.

 

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Despite the fact that the Sox blew it in the bottom of the ninth we had a blast. It’s always a good time when I get together with these goofs.

 

Saturday night was spent up at my brother Nate’s for dinner followed by laughing to the point of tears and watching horribly funny clips from Family Feud. You mean every family does do this?

 

And of course my usual pancakes on Sunday morning.

 

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I tried to make a batch of coconut flour pancakes to change it up. Mistake.

They were impossible to flip, gritty, and gave me a stomachache..which was probably due to the fact that they contained a whopping 13 grams of fiber!  But they were just overall untasty. I’ll stick to my 2-ingredient bad boys from now on.

 

Okay  so now on for the big reveal. The end of my 21 Day Restore!

 

 

 

If you missed out on my previous posts on it you can check out the story behind it here and my check-in here.

 

Pretty much I cut out caffeine, sugar, and “carbs” for 21 days to see how my body felt through the process. Here’s my main thoughts and outcomes from the past three weeks.

 

My energy levels feel more stable.

 

So the first few days were hard without coffee. Headaches. Body aches. Fatigue. But this just helped to show me my dependance on coffee. Once I got over that, I feel like my energy levels were much more stable after taking out the extra “carbs” from my diet. I put carbs in quotations since I did not cut out carbs completely, but took out all the foods people think of as carbohydrates. Bread, pasta, oats, cereal, etc, but still ate a plethora (don’t you love that word?!) of veggies and some fruits, and nuts.

 

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When I used to eat something “carby”, I would always get ravenous for anything and everything, especially more carbs (enter half a bag of tortilla chips before you can say nacho supremo). And then I would want a warm bottle and a nap after. Once I replaced these with more protein and fats, my energy levels felt more stable, and my meals felt more satisfying. Which leads me to my next point..

 

 

I don’t get hangry as often.

 

Yes hangry, a technical term for gnawing your arm off. I used to get bad cases of hanger. If I didn’t get food in me every 2-3 hours, I was ready to take on Godzilla, Jaws, Frankenstein, and the Wicked step-sisters all at once for a carrot with peanut butter.

 

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…okay I may still do that but I don’t HAVE to. Now that I’ve listened to my hunger cues more and eating more satisfying foods, I can go a lot longer without my next meal. And if I’m hungry, okay but it’s not the end of the world.

 

Coffee is my friend.

Coffee was probably the hardest to give up for me. I don’t eat a ton of sugar, and carby foods are far inferior to peanut butter, but coffee? It was h-e- double hockey sticks to cut out.

 

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But I got used to decaf. And now, one cup is good for me.  And if I don’t have it? It’s not the end of the caffeinated world. It feels good to enjoy coffee without feeling like I’m the walking dead without it.

 

I wasn’t too strict.

So while I cut these things out for the most part, I still had some things on occasion. Some tortilla chips here and there (my downfall), a bite of spaghetti, and a bomb diggity Rita’s custard and Swedish Fish icee.

 

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But for the most part I was a good seed. And it was okay. I lived life. At the chips. And moved on. And having that freedom from guilt and shame is worth more than the 5 grams of weight I could have potentially lost.

 

I’m adding back…

So for the most part, this way of eating works for me. I enjoy eating eggs every morning. Until I make it back to France, bread is easy for me to pass on. And I did add back in coffee, but I also am going to add in lentils and beans.

 

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Since I still don’t eat red meat or poultry, meal options get a little more difficult to plan meals. I love salads for lunch so that’s no problem for me, but eating fish and broccoli for dinner every night is getting pretty darn boring. And eating tuna more often skeeves me out with the whole mercury level thing. So I decided to add more legumes, especially lentils into the rotation.

 

I am going to experiment with soaking them overnight to rid most of the anti-nutrients that beans and legumes have and to make them more digestible.

 

 

Oh yeah, I guess I have to show those before and after pictures, right? I was thinking you might forget about that part. Whelp, herrrrrrree comes Em-lay!

 

Before:

21restore

Waist: 30″

Hips: 35″

Left Arm Circumference: 12″

Right Arm Circumference: 12″

Left Thigh Circumference: 20.5″

Right Thigh Circumference: 21″

Total Inches: 130.5

 

After:

day21

Waist: 29″

Hips: 34.5″

Left Arm Circumference: 12″

Right Arm Circumference: 12″

Left Thigh Circumference: 20″

Right Thigh Circumference: 20″

Total inches: 127.5

 

Soo no infomercial worthy weight loss or anything, but I’m perfectly okay with that. I’ve gained more freedom and energy that is worth more to me than losing weight. I’ve finally come to a point where I am okay with who I am today and enjoying the process to finding what works for me.

 

So that’s my journey and I’m stickin’ to it. And now I’m off to go get me my beach fix and some seafood!

 

Make it a great day!

What’s one thing you still want to do before Summer’s over?

 

Can you live without coffee?

 

 

WIAW: My Body is an Experiment

Howdy my Wednesday par-tay people! We are at the top of the hill for the roller coaster to the weekend. All down hill with some screams and feeling like you’re going to upchuck your stomach from here. Comforting.

 

 

And if I didn’t ruin your appetite enough yet, it’s time to share my eats, treats, and chicken feet for WIAW!

 

What I Ate Wednesday GOES GREEN

 

…Well minus the chicken feet. I’ll save that for my return to the candy stores of Georgia.

 

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So a little about today’s title and reasoning behind it. Being the proud nutrition nerd I am, I like to keep up on my nutrition trends and books out there. I’ve read a slew of the nutrition-related books out there from “The Omnivores Dilemma”, “Fast Food Nation”, “Salt Sugar and Fat”, and recently “Intuitive Eating”.

My current indulgence is “Grain Brain”, which goes on to say that grains and a high carb diet in general are not only bad for the body, but bad for the brain. Pretty much the devil in wheat clothing.

 

I won’t give you my full synopsis yet, but I will say that I take everything with a grain of salt, or wheat rather (pun fully intended because I’m so punny). I have not banned carbs and gluten from my life, but have taken myself on a little journey to land of low-carb living for the moment.

 

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As a dietitian, it is one thing to tell people how to eat, and another to speak from experience. I believe in the latter. While the Atkins diet may have had it’s 15 minutes of fame, I still think the low-carb craze is among us.

While much different, I believe the Paleo and Gluten-Free “diets” are the modern day low-carb in the sense that more emphasis is put on fruits, vegetables, and proteins and more whole foods with less focus on grains and processed junk.

 

The mad nutrition scientist I am, I decided to put myself through the paces of low-carb living for the moment. There is a lot of evidence that carbs/grains are not necessary from a nutritional standpoint and that the body can function just as well if not better on more fats and proteins. I have noticed a lot of “crashes” from all the carbs and natural sugars I eat, aka apples and carrots 4 lyfe, which leaves me feeling tired in the afternoons.

For the next two weeks, I am going through low-carb initiation which entails eating around 30 grams of carbs a day, and gradually building up afterwards. Believe me, this is no easy task for the 3  a day apple, exponential amount of carrots, and oatmeal diet I am used to. Here’s some misconceptions that I am not following, or reasons why I am changing my eating habits:

 

I am not doing it for weight loss. This is just to see how my body reacts and functions with lower carbs and more fats/proteins, and to gain perspective for people who follow this way of eating. If the weight comes off along the way, great. If it doesn’t then another lesson learned for what works for my body, and an understanding of what others may go through.

I am not eliminating all carb-containing foods. For the first two weeks, yes I am pretty much ruling out all fruits and grains because of their high carbohydrate content. But that’s only 2 weeks!

After that I plan on working them back into my diet, but not on such a grand scheme as before. For me, gluten and grains work and I don’t feel it necessary to cut them completely out of my life forever. I like my oats, and being able to eat a croissant on my European travels, and veggie wraps are a go to lunch for me a lot of times. Having the freedom to choose these foods, but doing what feels right for me is the main point I am after.

I am not eating mountains of meat. A lot of the hype around Atkins is eating plates upon plates of steak, bacon and meat in general. I am still a firm believer in the power of a plant-based diet, and still for the most follow a semi-vegetarian diet.

I do eat fish and eggs, and the occasional dairy, but for almost 10 years now have focused most of my meals around the all might veg. And yes, I get enough protein. I think this honestly makes this journey a bit tougher since it forces me to be more creative about meals, but having the flexibility of eating eggs, salmon, tuna and the likes makes it more manageable. Plus I honestly think I would vom if I tried to put a piece of bacon pass my lips.

 

Phew, that was a doosie. All in all, I am seeing what works for me and gaining an insight to a different way of eating. There’s no one way of eating for everyone, and doing what works for you is all you should care about. I plan on filling you in each week, mainly so I can keep track for me and to look back on in the future. But I also want to share my experiences with others who may be in the same spot or are interested in changing up their meal plan.

 

So I bet you all are curious as to what all this mumbo jumbo boils down to in a day in the life of my meals. Well orange you glad it’s Wednesday and I actually remembered to take pictures!

 

Breakfast started with a smoothie made with 1 cup soy milk, 1/2 scoop chocolate Life Basic’s protein powder, 1 tsp chia seeds and a square of spinach. (Yes a square. I thawed frozen spinach and portioned it into an ice cube tray to freeze and pop out for smoothies. Spinach squares for squares.)

 

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Then a couple scrambled eggs topped with sriracha and guac at work. Let me know when you find something that a scoop of guac can’t make better because I have yet to.

 

 

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Lunch is.. well half pictured. I mowed down a hill of spinach before I got to taking a picture, but I had it with a scoop of tuna and a couple of celery sticks with PB, and a cheese stick.

Thank the lord above peanut butter is low-carb because I would have blown this experiment before I could even say salivary amylase (did I mention I was also a nutritional stand-up comedian?)

 

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Afternoon snack was some mistachio pistachios and a new to me tea.

 

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Verdict, it tasted like an old dusty pack of Clove gum. If you don’t know what that is, let’s just say it tasted like the Necco wafers in your Granny’s candy dish that have been there since before the Depression. Safe to say this was not my cup of tea. Wow, I am just full of them today!

 

After a brutal T25 workout I was ready for some grubbin. Garlic and rosemary roasted salmon, roasted onions, and the remains of salad from Mother’s day.

 

 

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This salmon was sooo tender and delicious, it was a beautiful reminder that it would be next to impossible for me to be vegan. I don’t think I could ever even try to make a slab of tofu taste this good.

 

And some broccoli covered in sunbutter for ‘dessert.’

 

You know you have a problem with broccoli becomes your dessert. Maybe all this low-carb ish has me going mad!

 

 

And then topped off the night with more broc and sunbutter plus some cottage cheese mixed with PB2 and cinnamon.

 

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I swear it tasted better than cottage cheese and peanut flour sounds. Broccoli for dessert AND a nightcap?! Yes, I believe I have officially jumped off the low-carb deep end.

 

 

 Thanks again Jenn!

Make it a great day!

How do you feel about low carb diets?

What’s your favorite dessert?

 

Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai – A healthy and low-carb version of a Thai classic. The sauce is so easy, and you probably have everything you need at home! 

Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai - A healthy and low-carb version of a Thai classic. The sauce is so easy, and you probably have everything you need at home!

Have I got a treat for you today. I am renaming Marvelous Mondays to Treat Yo Blog..day. Real catchy I know. I have a knack for that kinda thing.

 

But first! Let’s recap the first weekend that actually felt like Spring. Gimme some more of dat! I think sunshine is more contagious than chicken pox at a daycare. Insta-good mood.

 

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Apparently awkwardness is just as contagious. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible for me and this girl to take a normal picture. And I love it.

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