If you aren’t caught up on the experiment I’m doing and you’d like to be…
So, now it’s day 24. I made it a whole 23 days at I’d say 99% no packaged foods. I didn’t go out to eat at all, didn’t pick up lunch or breakfast on the way into work. I made my own coffee every day, except 1 Saturday when I was out of coffee and I did go to Starbucks that day. 1 day out of 24 is amazing for me, by the way. I’m a Starbucks junkie. Aside from the coffee that one day, the other possibly “packaged” things I’ve eaten are a little of my boyfriend’s milk in my coffee a few days before I made my own almond milk, bread that I purchased at the farmer’s market, and a hunk of dark chocolate I got at Whole Foods (the kind broken off a big bar wrapped and sold by weight)… hey, it was “that time of the month”, chocolate was not optional. I checked out a lady selling fudge at the farmers market first and was disappointed to find out she uses hydrogenated oil.
I did notice that I was having a kind of bad week last week. You know when you just feel kind of grumpy and things don’t seem to be going your way? Just feeling generally irritable. There are some other things going on in life that are a bit distressing. I think that’s when I started to feel a little too much pressure from having to prepare every single thing I eat. Not really due to doing it, which is kind of fun, but for not having that option of an easy way out on those days where I didn’t feel like making my lunch, I think it was starting to take its toll in stress.
I’m still loving this way of eating and I’ve already decided to continue a lot of the changes that have happened when the month is over. But I think it is really important to have that release valve. Sometimes, a person just does not feel like making her own dinner. Sometimes, I do want to have the option of stopping and grabbing something at Whole Foods on the way to work. Sometimes, I do want Starbucks to make my coffee for me. Not often, but once in awhile. I’ve never been really into doing any type of restrictive eating plan 100%. I think it’s very important to keep that balance.
So on the 23rd day, I rested. Last night we ordered delivery pizza and I had a beer. A Sam Smith’s Organic Apricot to be precise. It was amazing and today I feel completely ready to finish out the No Packaged month. By the way, how great is it that there’s a delivery place near me that sells a “mini” sized pizza. Yep, a pizza that’s small enough to eat the whole thing for dinner without going overboard. I love that!
These are the changes I plan to keep after this experiment ends:
- Eating a lot of fruit. I have just been loving eating so much fruit. It’s satisfying in a way other foods are not. I have found that eating fruit makes me so much less likely to want to eat snacks when I’m not really hungry. This is perhaps the only way of eating I have ever tried where I can literally eat all I want and not eat more than my calorie needs.
- Eating a lot less dairy. I now see that I was kind of keeping myself boxed in by feeling like I had to eat some kind of dairy product for breakfast for the protein. It’s leftover from my days of worrying about things like that, and I’m happy to be rid of it. I probably will go back to eating yogurt and cottage cheese occasionally, but no longer every day like I was before this challenge.
- Making my coffee most days. I am saving a lot of money this way.
- Making my own nut butters and hummus. Mine are better tasting and less expensive than the ones I was buying at the store.
- Using a lot more bulk items. It’s inexpensive, easy, and look how cool my kitchen cupboard looks now:
- Going to the farmers market twice a week and eating most of my food from there. Absolutely. Its the greatest! I love going, it’s something I really look forward to. It’s saving me money. It’s relaxing and my time to myself. On Saturday mornings, I’ve been going early and sitting outside enjoying the nice weather and chatting with a friend or family member on the phone before doing my shopping. And on Tuesday, it’s a block away from my gym and I walk there after my workout and then walk home (less than a mile). It’s a nice walk. There are a lot of pretty flowers.
Items I will be buying the day this experiment ends:
- Organic carrot juice.
- Soy milk for my coffee (still my preference)
- A really good block of some type of fancy cheese
- Farmhouse Cultures kraut
- Tortillas (I’ve tried a few recipes this month and have not found one I like, plus too labor intensive.)
- A GT’s Gingerade Kombucha
Oh, and I’ve lost about 4 lb this month so far, which is something I wanted. This is without counting calories. I counted for a few days just to get a general idea. Once I saw the amount of food it took to get to 2000 calories, I stopped counting. I’ve been eating basically as much fruit and veggies as I want and I know I’m still not making it to my maintenance level of calories (~2500). There’s nothing magical about eating this way, it just makes it really difficult to eat enough to maintain my weight. It still comes down to eating less food than I burn, but this is an easy way to do it without counting. I can see that it would be very easy to undereat if you weren’t careful, so I think it would be a very good idea to count calories if you’re eating this way, just to see where you are and make sure you’re getting enough food. I couldn’t do it without having some nuts and whole grains in my diet. It would simply be too much food.
A lot of people have asked me about my digestion. I think there’s this misconception people have that eating a lot of produce is somehow bad for your digestive system. That’s backwards. Eating a lot of produce is what your digestive system is meant to do. I have no “issues” at this time, though the same could not be said of when I used to eat the Standard American Diet. Transitioning between ways of eating can cause digestive changes while you get used to it, but overall this really isn’t all that different from how I was eating last month.
So, here’s to the last week of this experiment! I’m looking forward to it.