On a beautiful fall day we sat across the table from our daughter and her significant other and talked about exciting plans. Conversation was lively, the company excellent, the views outside the restaurant were gorgeous, The Bride looked lovely, our daughter was happy and all I could think about was the bread in the basket just across the table.
Turns out, I found out later, The Bride was right there with me.
“I wanted to snatch it from them with a huge slab of butter,” she said.
But we didn’t. We let it sit there. Two pieces, untouched, sitting in the basket the entire meal. I even had to let them get thrown away, which usually turns me into Sheldon in The Bing Bang Theory’s clone.
We didn’t break. So it goes with our Clean Eating challenge as we hit the middle of our first week. The challenge is pretty simple: no processed foods of any kinds, very low in carbs, high in lean protein, tons of veggies, five meals a day, yet all small and no Mulligans. We’re sticking to it.
I can say that now with confidence because we passed the bread test. As is clear from this site, I love everything about bread. Especially making it. Eating it is pretty zipbang special too. About the only thing I crave more is chocolate and, oddly, that is allowed a couple of times in this challenge! So if we were going to blow it, the bread would have been it.
So that’s the good news. We’re going to make it, I’m pretty sure. It’s not really that hard at all. The menus are so well-organized that cooking is quick and not having to plan or think about it removes a lot of the temptation to make a fat burger with fries,
or whip up one of my favorite binge foods.
We’ve had some really good meals in these past few days. I can honestly say I’ve never had a more lively, delicious salad as this Asparagus and egg salad on Day One.
It also has taken things we eat often and given them a twist, which has helped me get out of the rut of things were eating, even when we were eating healthy. What’s not to love about this:
And my usual morning omelet was streamlined to make it much healthier, but it still tasted just fine. So I had to ditch the salami and ricotta and have instead a little goat cheese and peppers, but it was fine.
The whole point of this thing — to rediscover the physical, spiritual and emotional balance that is critical to sobriety, and to keep the creep of weight gain from getting out of control — is being met better than I expected. I feel far more centered and less obsessive about food. I’m not having addictive cravings about dessert at night that I can’t mentally shake (though The Bride had a dream about Chocolate Cake last night… wish I had that dream to tell you the truth). We walked nearly 20,000 steps yesterday, worked out, spent 20 minutes in quiet spiritual devotion and god some work done. In short, I feel more like I did a year ago, when I felt great… great enough to start this whole website focused on celebrating healthy recovery.
So for those keeping score at home, I’d have to say the plus side of this effort so far is kicking the sugar addiction I had in full swing before I started, kicking my metabolism into hyper drive and feeling more in balance overall again. The negative side, the hangover like headache that comes with the detox is a bummer (though on it has finally started to ease up) and the lack of any breads likely isn’t sustainable. I’ll put breads (and the occasional dessert) back into the meal plan going forward, but far less often as we were doing before started this plan.
And yes, like I said, we even had chocolate:
So ask yourself: What’s keeping you from taking the Buzzfeed Clean Eating Challenge today?