Part of my job revolves around meetings: breakfast meetings, lunch meetings and dinner meetings, plus cocktail hours. I have the opportunity every day to eat too much and all the bad things. I just had had enough recently and decided it was time for a change.
So my husband and I took on a challenge. It’s always better to make significant life changes with a partner or friend. We decided to eat unprocessed or minimally processed foods for 30 days. We had no dairy, no breads, no grains, no alcohol and no sugars or artificial sweeteners.
I want to caution that any elimination of food groups in your diet is not the best way to achieve lasting change. You must take a balanced approach, and you should consult your doctor before starting a diet, particularly if you take medication.
After 30 days trying this new approach to eating, both of us experienced the most surprising things:
Better sleep by Day 4
Fewer aches and pains
No foggy head in the afternoon
No cravings by Day 5
Finding the joy in cooking
A sensitized palate to taste again
Lower spend on food
Better mood overall
I lost 8 pounds without restricting calories. I was never hungry, nor did I feel deprived of anything except milk in my coffee. Unsweetened almond milk was really just fine.
Honestly, I did not appreciate the complete reset of my food desires. I went from an unhealthy desire for cheese at nearly every meal to not even missing it. This really blew me away.
We needed to simplify what we ate and cut out the junk – foods with high amounts of saturated fat, chemicals, artificial sweeteners, sugars and salt. We stuck to foods with fewer ingredients and avoided ingredients you couldn’t pronounce.
We are in the process of reintroducing foods to see what makes a difference and what does not. We both plan to continue to focus on eating whole foods as much as possible. But we will include cake and pizza at celebrations and as a weekend treat.
There is probably a good reason for the sage advice of “staying away from what your grandparents and great-grandparents would not recognize as food.” It feels like the right thing to do.