Let’s Hear It For Real Food
“After the first session, the trainer approached me about nutrition counseling. I was a little skeptical as I KNOW what healthful eating is, I just don’t do it. Ignorance isn’t my problem; discipline is.”
That’s a snippet from my last post. It turns out I had no idea what I was talking about. But let’s start at the beginning.
It’s been a couple of months since I posted. Life has been a blur of friends, family, travel, parties, and (still) unpacking. But instead of letting myself get swept away in all the frenzy, I’ve managed to remain disciplined about taking care of myself. I feel more in control of my life than ever and I attribute it all to the boot camp and our new way of eating.
After I emailed her my likes and dislikes, my nutritionist replied with the following guidelines:
Eat leafy greens every day.
Eat something from the brassica family (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.) every day.
Cut out all flour-based foods, and anything with added sugar.
Cut out all grains, whole or otherwise.
Embrace fat and REAL food. No low-fat or non-fat crap. Remember, fat is not your enemy; sugar is.
Eat all the veggies you want.
Eat all the (non-tropical) fruits you want, but always have a little protein afterward, such as a handful of nuts or a spoonful of peanut butter.
Eat every 4 hours at the least.
Fish is the best protein there is. Buy it in bulk and eat it often.
Don’t worry about counting calories or measuring portions. Just eat until you’re full.
She’d also said to limit alcohol to red wine, which is perfect for us, but to only have ten glasses a year.
TEN GLASSES OF WINE A YEAR.
After I stopped laughing I emailed her back and said that last part was out of the question. We just enjoy wine tasting too much. So she agreed to work with me and said that as long as I limit it to two glasses a night, just three nights a week, and never on consecutive nights, she would be OK with that. We haven’t managed to hold to that all that well, but we’re trying.
Every other point, however, has been surprisingly easy.
We’ve switched to whole dairy product, such as cottage cheese, sour cream, milk, etc. I keep my fridge stocked with butter, bags of leafy greens and raw nuts as well as fish, apples, berries (frozen), vegetables, cheese, almond butter, and sparkling water.
What struck me first was how many food products contain added sugar. Did you know that chicken sausage has added sugar? Why? Bacon, too! WHY WHY WHY? Luckily there are no-sugar-added options out there, but they’re hard to find.
What struck me next was how much flavor there is in real food. How did I ever trick myself into thinking non-fat sour cream was OK? HOW? It’s like runny paste compared to the real thing. And ugh, non-fat cottage cheese. Compared to the real thing it’s how I imagine insulation would taste.
And I get to cook with butter! (As well as extra-virgin olive oil.) Leafy greens with butter. Brussel sprouts with butter. AND bacon. Omelettes with butter and onions and spinach. Fish in butter and white wine sauce! I top veggie soup with a dollop of sour cream. I add heavy cream to my pasta sauces and serve them over spaghetti squash.
I’m more surprised than anyone that I’ve had no craving for bread, hot cereal, pasta, or rice. And that’s all I ever used to eat.
This is the best non-diet I’ve ever been on. I suppose it’s a version of the Atkins diet; I just know that it seems to agree with me. My skin has cleared up and I um, poop three times a day. When I began I fit into zero of my five pairs of jeans. Now I can wear three of them straight out the dryer. And the best part is, I don’t think about food. I just eat it and then get on with my day. I no longer worry how much I time until my next snack, I don’t worry about how many calories or points I have left, I just. eat. like. a normal. person.
It’s amazing. More amazing still is what I can accomplish in a day I haven’t spent obsessing about food.
I tucked away the scale, because I didn’t want the number to have control over my moods anymore. But then my husband joined a biggest loser competition at work and pulled it back out. So I stood on it. And this is where it gets really interesting.
I haven’t lost any weight at all. Not a single pound
Yet I’ve lost four inches around my waist and my face is noticeably slimmer. Isn’t that bizarre?
We do a lot of strength training and sprinting at boot camp, so I know I’m putting on muscle, but still. I’ve decided, though, that I don’t care. I’m going to continue this for the foreseeable future and see where it leads. I already have some thoughts regarding additional changes I’d like to make, but those I’m reserving for after the holidays.
Have you ever considered going back to full fat dairy products?