Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Rational Diet

(Diets and 'change' are always a challenge. This was my recent experience with dieting...)

I consider myself to have been a reasonably healthy eater for the last few years. A treat or two here, followed by a piece of fruit or some vegetable there, and exercise such as walking to manage my weight have all made for a happy, healthier, slimmer (I hope), Lisa. And I didn’t lose all control the last few months, but health issues kept me on my butt much of the time. By the time Christmas and the New Year rolled around, delicious temptations had gotten the better of me, and I knew I had to do something. I still walk religiously, but I had to do something about my diet. Added to that, my chronically finicky stomach was telling me and my doctor that things had to change.

And while I was making New Year vows for a better diet and getting things ‘back on track’ as best as I could, I was also having thoughts of other lifestyle changes. With always being busy, on-the-go and trying to cram in as much as I possibly can, I decided further changes have to be made. Although I still have a certain commitments to uphold and goals I want to fulfill, I realized I had been too hard on myself for too long in trying to do it all, often beating myself up over things that don’t get done. I work myself up into a frothy lather of stress, and am sometimes/often in a state of constant panic. Taking it easier on myself and finding balance – but without jeopardizing all that I am and what I want to do and be – is, I hope, to be my new mantra.

So to start things off right, even before New Year’s day, I went on a diet. Not a specific one, but a combination of a few I researched. Lots of fruits and veggies, of course – but that had never been a problem before. But the hard part would be to cut out ALL flour and starch products: no bread, buns, pasta or white rice. One diet said no milk, yogurt or cheese, even if it says ‘fat free.’ All things flour and milk had been suspect of tampering with my delicate stomach anyways, and my doctor agreed this was the best course. Almond or soy milk would be my friend.

But as I had already made a ‘resolution’ not to be so hard on myself, I made exceptions. I was still tough and determined in my quest to lose weight and eat healthier, but as with all things, I had my own ‘rationale’ to balance things out.

Here is my altered diet lightly peppered with my ‘finding balance’ plan. The diet, I might add, helped me lose 10 lbs in three weeks – honestly – despite what I know is my skewed rationale.

• No milk - fine. I was good and bypassed the jugs in the coffee shops labeled ‘milk,’ and stuck to those that said ‘cream’ or ‘half-and-half.’ Um, it wasn’t my fault the diets researched weren’t overly specific.

• Okay, so I couldn’t have ‘milk chocolate,’ given the ‘no milk’ rule. So I stuck to dark chocolate - and daily, at that. A friend reassured me that dark chocolate is good for me, so no problem.

• The same went for chocolate covered almonds. Almonds are at the top of the list in diets, so this was a great alternative.

• Chick peas, in moderation, are a good healthy source of....something-or-other. Garlic and chick peas were highly recommended in one of the diets, so humus became my snack of choice. But it’s not my fault I was in a near-starved trance and unknowingly ate a whole container of the rich, garlicky mixture.

A week into my diet and I was very proud of myself. I felt good, my stomach wasn’t upset anymore like it always had been, AND I had lost weight, so I forged (and foraged) on....

• No flour was a tough one as everyone loves a good slice of cake every now and then, and sometimes you just need...something. One day at the grocery store, I noticed they had flourless cake – and chocolate at that! I bought a piece, swallowed half right outside the grocery store. But I was good and saved the other half for later, restraint, moderation and portion-control my strength. It wasn’t my fault, however, that a (big) dollop of still-frozen Cool Whip fell on it, right?

• I researched and found that natural, organic chia seeds are good for you. Who knew? Seeds are a big thing in many diets, so I found a gluten-free, organic, vegan, seedy cereal hearty in chia seeds and hemp hearts. But I got so worried and paranoid of what to name the Chia Pet® likely growing in my stomach, I figured I better halve the recommended daily dosage of the hemp-rich cereal. Trippy.

• Back at the coffee shop, I learned the error of my ways, and figured out that cream is still a ‘no no.’ So I ordered something I wouldn’t have to add milk or cream to – a latte. Extra large, ‘skinny,’ extra vanilla flavouring (vanilla is a bean, after all), and lots of ‘whip,’ thank you very much.

So four weeks into my diet, I’m proud of myself for staying strong, and being rational and balanced in my choices. My slowly sagging clothes are inspiration and motivation, and every so often I treat myself to a bit of chocolate while I sit and write - and be rational and calm about my ever-hungry Chia Pet®.
Thanks for reading! Lisa


  1. That's awesome! And way to go! I love the rational rationale.

    1. Thank you, Janelle! It all made perfect sense to me!

  2. Cheers to almond milk and a good smoothie for breakfast. Never thought I could do without dairy or wheat products, but with the occasional cheat, I'm over two weeks in to a diet that supposedly will get me all healthy again. With virtual support maybe this will become a lifestyle for both of us - who knows, no more Chickensoup for the Soul but Chickensoup for the Tummy?

    1. Hey, that's perfect, Ryshia! Chicken soup for the Tummy, literally for me! Glad for you on the no dairy or wheat plan - hope it works for you! Thanks for reading! Lisa