Monday, April 25, 2016

What I Learned That Time My Husband Asked Me to Diet

Okay, so I over-sensationalized the title. What Matt actually said was, "Will you go on a diet with me?"

And, I agreed.

While I have a terrible sweet tooth, I tend to eat pretty healthfully. I figured if quinoa and lentils were already a part of my life then an eating challenge wouldn't be that hard. I was wrong.

Here are a few thing I learned from a 30-day eating plan:

Caffeine had a hold on me - I drink coffee and green tea, so I figured that the switch to green tea only wouldn't be a problem. Wrong. I spent several days with a massive caffeine headache (and headache + hungry is a BAD combination).

Once we could start drinking coffee again, I held off doing so for a few more days and then realized that I really missed my morning cup but that I didn't miss all the caffeine. The solution: a half caff/ half decaf blend. (We just mix the grinds at home.) It works.

You can always add more vegetables in your diet - We don't eat a ton of bread, but we do eat a lot of rice. Even if we aren't eating Asian, dinner often is chicken (or other meat)  + veggie + rice. But because this diet greatly reduced or eliminated carbs that meant no white rice. The substitute was extra veggies.

Instead of roasting just broccoli, I roasted broccoli and red bell peppers or instead of just having carrots we had carrots and cucumber. At first the kids missed the rice, so I made it for them (and may have drooled as the steamy bowl passed me by). But by the end of the month, they too were satisfied with multiple vegetables and no carbs. While I'm not eliminating rice from our meals, I am making a more conscious effort to replace it with additional veggies once or twice a week. 

Also, while we keep a fruit bowl on the counter, most of our veggies are stored in the fridge. Out of sight often equals out of mind. If I want to eat more vegetables, I need to see them. Consequently, I'm keeping cherry tomatoes and avocados next to the fruit as a reminder that they're an easy go-to snack.

Our relaxation and rewards are entrenched with treats - Friday nights were the hardest part of this diet. On Fridays, we tend to eat a more laid-back meal like pizza and open a bottle of red wine. Thinks no one ever, "Ohh the weekend is here, let me relax with a slice of butternut squash and a water." It isn't just the adults indulging on the weekends, we often take the kids out for frozen yogurt on Saturday.

It was hard to find non-food substitute treats, especially when it was cold and wet outside. I took a bubble bath one night and we did family game night another (which everyone knows is an exercise in frustration), but it wasn't the same. This made me realize that we really need to find more healthy treats to add to our bag of tricks. 

I don't have as much willpower as I thought I did - Candy is my kryptonite. Over Easter, those black jelly beans whispered to me day and night. Finally, one day after a series of long doctors appointments, I caved like a cheap suit. I sat on the floor digging through the bag and inhaling those sugary licorice bites. They were insanely good. So good that I made myself throw the bag away when I was done or I would have eaten them all.

We kept far less processed food in the house during our diet month and that was a good thing. We needed the obvious reminder that you can't act on a temptation that's not in the house.  

I won't be doing another eating plan anytime soon, but I am glad I did this one. It's good to be reminded that our relationship with food goes well beyond our stomach. 

1 comment:

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