Last year, as I was closing in on finalizing my transformation by stepping on stage for the first time in my life, after losing 50 lbs, a lot of people were asking about my diet. Note that when I say “diet” I mean it in its intended form: the sum of the food consumed by an organism or group.
I was extremely hesitant about sharing my diet and for the most part I didn’t. I’m sure people probably thought I was being evasive or selfish by not sharing but the truth was, I didn’t want anyone getting on such a strict diet as the one I was on…unless they themselves were looking to compete. It was a competitor’s diet. A diet that was quite frankly not exactly healthy and certainly not sustainable.
Funny thing is…although I realized it was not sustainable, I definitely tried to maintain it. It turned out impossible to maintain as the stress in my life increased; I found myself slipping constantly and overeating. I started to gain weight but worst then that, I completely lacked energy. I felt so drained. I blamed my work and the stress I was under for the way I felt. I was also losing my hair at a rapid rate.
I can’t remember how the first conversation happened, but I found myself having conversations about nutrition with two Marines in the office where I work. They’re on a starch/whole plant diet and while I couldn’t possibly imagine having that much startch/carbs in my life – I was listening to what they had to say. They kept bringing in food and showing me what I could be eating.
It also happens that one of my best friends came to visit around the same time, and she noticed how incredibly drained I was. She made some recommendations herself about making changes to my diet.
I knew I needed to make some changes. I was just not looking forward to making them because I knew it would require a lot of time and effort on my part. I also didn’t want to gain anymore weight which I figured would happen with eating extra starch. My hesitations were all trumped by how crappy I was feeling and all the hair I kept losing, so I committed to changing the way I ate. I spent a lot of money getting all the new spices and food I needed. Along the way, I discovered I’m starting to enjoy my early mornings in the grocery stores and my time in the kitchen cooking.
I’ve been on this new diet now for about 3 weeks and it’s been INCREDIBLE. My energy has skyrocketed!! I get to eat cereal again! Actually, I even get to eat muffins (which I made). I’m eating fruits, veggies, bread…I’m making all kinds of new recipes. It’s taking a lot of time to plan and making all this new food (for the week) but it’s worth it.
My taste buds haven’t been this happy and satisfied in YEARS!! In a nutshell, I’ve taken out meat, most dairies, and all oils from my diet. I’m still having eggs sometimes, skim milk in my coffee and cereal and I’m also still taking whey protein. Otherwise, I’m eating veggies, legumes, beans, various starches and fruits.
I’m not craving meat. Granted, I was having the same old chicken, tilapia and grass fed red meat prepared the same exact way meal after meal…so not much there to miss.
Now, there is so much more flavor and variety to what I’m eating.
Eating a plant base, starch diet is the healthiest way a person can eat…to both maintain a healthy body weight AND provide your body with everything it needs to be the healthiest it can be to prevent most diseases. It’s also the most sustainable diet I’ve ever followed.
This isn’t about being a vegetarian since plenty of vegetarians are also unhealthy. This is about eating what is best for my body. I’m not saying I won’t ever have meat again either. I just know when/if I eat meat, I’m putting fat and cholesterol in my body…much like when I still eat eggs and skim milk.
My goal is to shed the 10 lbs I put on – I have 7 lbs to go. I know I can do it without actually starving myself or ending up feeling run down.
I can finally EAT FOOD I love on this diet!! No cheat meals. No over indulging. No more unhealthy relationship with food.
I still prep all my food on the weekend for the week. I still eat 5-6 smaller meals through the day. I still keep my protein intake higher than what the books recommend…goes with wanting to maintain my muscle mass. I still drink 1-2 gallons of water a day.
You can see pictures of the food I’m cooking on Facebook. You can find excellent recipes to start making yourself on Dr. McDougall’s website: http://www.drmcdougall.com/newsletter/recipeindex.html
I’m not sure what this new diet means in the grand scheme of things…meaning if I want to step on stage again. What I do know RIGHT NOW is that I feel much BETTER, I have more energy and I’m loving what I’m eating. That’s what my life and body are calling for at the moment.