Last week I started with a lot of words. Words are no fun. Lets start with pictures this week and then you can read words later if you like that kind of thing.
This is a yummy snack on protein day. Stuffed portobello mushrooms.
This is lunch. Red bell peppers stuffed with tuna, cucumbers, onions, and other deliciousness.
Day 3 (Week 2, Phase 2, Day 1) and I like my lunch. And my snacks. But I want bread. Or sugar. Or a cookie. Anything! I don't normally crave bad food. My lunch was pretty, but not satisfying. I blame hormones. You'd think I'd want something that took me an hour to prepare. I (thankfully only briefly) cut my finger while cutting bell peppers.
Look at those fresh, unprocessed foods.
If I put them in a food processor does that suddenly make them processed??
This was the "before" shot.
This is the "after" shot. It made an awesome topping for a salad!
Look at me cooking breakfast before 7 am!
(This is a rare thing to get me awake this early!)
More stuffed mushrooms on Week 2 Day 2.
Mmmm, a steak salad! With those toppings you saw ground up earlier. Delicious!
Balanced breakfast: chopped, frozen strawberry slush (only ingredient) Sprouted grain bread (Ezekiel bread) with hummus and cucumbers. Fruit, veggie, protein, starch....it's all here!
Avocados and salsa! So fresh!!
I was craving salsa and this was great!
Look at those cool bikes!
Relaxing Friday night ride! (Sunsets look way better in person, and photos look way better when you're not moving!)
Last round of 3 egg salad for a while!
Out to eat for the first time on the diet! I was able to find a plate of veggies and brown rice pasta (gluten free). Mostly diet-friendly. (No salads on the menu)
1 oz of chips was so disappointing! The salsa that went with it was not!
I've decided avocados and salsa is way better than bean-based chips and salsa.
Corn will always be my favorite though!
This chili was SO delicious! We will for sure make it again! The base was organic tomato-red bell pepper soup! I never thought of putting anything other than just tomatoes in chili!
The learning curve has been steep, but here we are on our second round. Meal plans were set, we were a lot smarter about picking out snacks (read: more variety, less costly) and meals. We wanted some meals that gave us leftovers for weeks 3&4 so we have to cook a lot less those weeks. We wanted to keep trying new recipes, but spend less money. We simplified some things, used leftover ingrediants (onions, hummus, stuff that stays good for more than 1 week.) I wrote it all out.
We had some drauma on Sunday (new road-bike for me!) and a musical (Mamma Mia: see this post for a full review of the musical) so we ran out of time for groceries. I made a quick (15 minutes!) run to Trader joe's to get all we needed for Monday meals. Then we did the rest of our shopping on Monday night. Total we spent about 130! Such an improvement from 175! I had fogotten to put pork on the final list, so we ended up spending closer to 140, but we have plenty of staple ingrediants (safflour mayo, cocoa, gf flour) from last week so we should be done buying things. We had new fruits on the menu (mangoes, pineapple, and our new favorite: blueberries!)
We had the same oatmeal smoothie Monday and Tuesday. After complaining about the "chewy-ness" of the smoothie, I recommended that Ryan try the food processer to make the oatmeal smaller and less chewy. The oatmeal was SO much better! Still thick, but drinkable. After asking what he did, he said he "just put the blender on liquify." If I had known it was that simple, I would have done that sooner!
Lesson # 6: For smoother smoothies, try the liquify button.
My co-workers are impressed with all the variety of my meals on this "diet". They keep asking for recipes. I craved cornbread (corn is my weakness!) on Monday, but Tuesday I was pretty craving-free! Except for Tuesday night. I wanted anything but fruit or veggies.
I am WAY less tired this week, thankfully! I have a FitBit (side not- this thing is awesome. and I'm not even getting paid to say that. We LOVE our fitbits. The company has awesome customer service! It is a little device that tracks your steps, stairs, calories burned, and sleep) which tracks my sleep. I sleep so badly.
I wake up TWENTY something times most nights. And THIRTY something times when I'm stressed.
That's way more than normal I think. Normal people wake up 2-5 times per night. And it's not like I am bad at sleeping. I wake up around the same time each morning and we go to bed early. I don't drink any kind of caffeine after noon. I don't play on my phone in the bed or anything, I just sleep really badly and I haven't figured it out yet. I never felt well-rested in the morning and I wouldn't get out of bed for the world!
I feel much more well-rested after following this diet. My fitbit says I've dropped from waking up 20 something times to 4-6 times per night. That's huge. It's something I never expected!
Lesson #7: maybe sugar is keeping you awake!
I know, HUGE difference, it's amazing!
***Please take this information with a grain of salt. This is a blog. You can't believe everything you read on blogs. These results are in NO WAY scientific. This is what is called anecdotal evidence (it worked for me, but it may not work for everyone). But it's totally worth trying!***
I'm starting to see a pattern: Every Tuesday: "I'm so sick of eating only fruits." Every Thursday: "I am so sick of eating only meats." Sunday: "I could eat healthy fats forever!"
More and more people keep asking about my diet each day at work. People know I only drink water and that I generally eat pretty well, but they're surprised at how delicious and fresh my "diet" meals look.
Friday I was so excited to eat avocado and salsa! It was delicious! I was super hungry when I got back and walked into my office to see cowboy chicken sitting out in the kitchen. I don't even love that place, but they had hot chicken, creamy mashed potatoes, and peach cobbler. The cobbler looked so sweet and smelled like vanilla.
I almost cheated.
But I couldn't do that and feel good about it.
So I didn't.
Let's pause for a moment to talk about people who cross the street without a crosswalk. They are playing Russian roulette because cars won't always stop for you. People these days are just not as nice as they used to be.
On my way home some man was walking his slow butt across the middle of the street. He didn't even have the sense to run. There were a lot of cars coming and most of them only slowed down enough to swerve around him, barely missing him. As if that might teach him a lesson.
Well, monkey see, monkey do.
The old lady behind him saw how quickly he got to the McDonalds across the street and started to cross, again barely getting missed by a couple of cars.
And then, as if there was safety in numbers, a very pregnant mother holding the hand of a 2-3 year old child started crossing just after the grandmother. At this point, I am about to hit these crazy streetwalkers, but I slammed on my breaks. I should have honked my horn. The people on the other side of me didn't stop for the people jaywalking. They just swerved around me, barely missing the toddler.
Seriously people, is McDonalds worth it? There was a crosswalk not even 30 yards away. The crosswalk put you closer to the door at McDonalds, and more importantly, it doesn't put you in nearly as much danger! The cars around me were clearly not as concerned as I was. They just swerved around people like Mario swerves to miss green shells.
If you are one of those rediculous people, I hope natural selection runs it's course.
(now, if you cross a slow street without cars around, you are welcome to jaywalk all you want. But if you're crossing a busy 4-lane road, I think you're an idiot and I will have little sympathy when someone hits you.)
I ate out over the weekend. I found mostly vegetable meals with gluten-free noodles. I felt like I pobably broke the rules a little bit, but it was good to know I can stick to the rules as much as possible when we eat out.
Lesson #8: When you eat out, you can pick healthy stuff!
We ate with friends after church on Sunday. We had grilled fish and a side of baked broccoli. We had fruit salsa on top fruit for dessert. It was neat to eat a meal that wasn't "on our list" but still followed all the rules! It was so fun and delicious!
Our kitchen WAS clean, but it got dirty again before I grabbed a photo. And now on to week 3!