I’ve fallen off the wagon. The wagon of healthy eating, that is. More and more Awesome and I find ourselves eating just plain crap. No matter what I do. Most of the time it’s because I don’t feel like cooking when I get home from work (how do people with kids do it?). So we order take-out or go to Taco Bell or something else equally unhealthy. We decided we needed to make a change.
I’ve heard some people jump start their diets with a cleanse, so I set out to find one that might not be too bad. And in doing so I found and chose the worst one ever invented.
It’s called “Eat Your Heart Out” and can be found on Pinterest or you can just Google it. When you read it, it doesn’t sound that bad. Or you trick yourself into thinking it doesn’t sound that bad.
- Day 1: Eat as much fruit as you want, except bananas.
- Day 2: Eat as many veggies as you want. Baked potato with butter in the evening.
- Day 3: As many fruits and veggies, no potato.
- Day 4: Eight bananas and skim milk. You can sub Weight Watchers yogurt for skim milk if you want.
- Day 5: Chicken or turkey and five tomatoes.
- Day 6: Chicken or turkey and veggies.
- Day 7: Cabbage soup (she includes a receipe).
I love fruit. So I thought day one was going to be a piece of cake. This was incorrect. For starters, it was a Saturday and I was going to the movies with my mother and everyone was eating hot, buttery, salty, delicious movie popcorn. I had grapes. By the end of the day I wanted to scream. Awesome had to work all day and had a headache most of the day. The second day was equally terrible. We were both starving and starting to snap at each other. All I wanted was a big fat cheesesteak sub. I ended up cheating a little and putting butter and salt on my green beans.
By day three we both were exhausted. I made the mistake of watching a show on the Food Network where people were making eggrolls and I almost fainted I wanted one so badly. Awesome came home from work early because his head was pounding. He ended up making tuna so that his head wouldn’t explode from hunger. Banana/skim milk day I had pretty much given up but was trying only for my boyfriend, who really wanted to stick to the cleanse. I ate one banana and then cheated with some Saltines I had forgotten were in my desk at work. Then Awesome caved – he texted me and said he wanted to stop. Not since he first told me he loved me have I heard sweeter words uttered from his mouth.
Results: Awesome lost eight pounds, I lost five. We felt pretty good about that, because we didn’t even finish the diet like we were supposed to. When we did come off the diet, we made sure we were eating good stuff – chicken and fish, still keeping veggies and fruit as much as possible.
What we learned: you don’t have to starve yourself or only eat certain foods to be healthy. Changing your eating patterns is a lifestyle change. A diet plan like Atkins, Paleo, South Beach and others only works if you plan to eat like that for the rest of your natural life. And I don’t want to restrict myself to only eating certain foods for the rest of my life. Sometimes you just need to have a cheeseburger. Or a bowl of ice cream. Or a Little Debbie. The trick is moderation and portion size. Eat on a smaller plate. Sub in fruit or veggies for a snack more often than you scarf down a chocolate bar. Eat half the portion of spaghetti you normally would. Don’t eat snacks directly out of the bag or in front of the TV. Start using healthy substitutes in your recipes — you’d be surprised how many are out there.
From now on we are striving to eat smaller portions, add more fruit and veggies, use substitute ingredients and make lunch and dinner every night. Of course, we had to celebrate the end of our terrible ordeal, so last night we splurged a little at P.F. Chang’s.
Let me tell you, nothing was ever as good as that first bite of crispy green beans and lettuce wraps.
Hey, it was semi-healthy…green beans and lettuce…no?
Emily Campbell is a perpetually single, 20-something girl-around-town who loves Shakespeare, old movies, Natty Boh, and of course, long walks on the beach. A sales manager by day and freelance writer by night, she was recently forced into a life of involuntary celibacy when her last relationship fizzled out over a text message. She’s tired of settling for second – or tenth – best, and she’s ready to find Mr. Right. Or, Mr. Nearly Right. No one’s perfect…which she has learned the hard (but hilarious) way.