Healthy Life Challenge: Week 2 Reflections
In case you missed it: Read about why I'm doing an elimination diet and my week 1 reflections here.
The first week of this elimination diet/healthy life challenge was great! I felt so light and happy. However, I had really bad cravings and wasn't feeling normal in the sense that this was something I could maintain.
That changed this week. This week my cravings were essentially gone. I didn't lust after grilled cheese or count down the days until I could have chocolate again. In fact, as I was working on my week 3 (reintroduction phase) meal plan and I completely forgot to add in cheese and chocolate because I'm not constantly thinking about them anymore!
This week I started exploring more foods and even went out with friends a few times. I started to feel more normal about this diet and even think this could be something I can easily maintain (with the exception of one cheat meal each week!).
My favorite meal this week was definitely tacos. I bought gluten-free corn tortillas and stuffed them with ground turkey and pineapple -- sooo good! I'm definitely eating tacos like this for a long time! I also tried sweet potato toast this week and actually really enjoyed it. The recipe is super simple: cut a sweet potato into toast-like pieces, bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees (no oil needed) and top with your favorite toast toppings. I topped mine with peanut butter and blueberries, which was super good!
When I first cut back on food, I was constantly hungry. Now, I'm hungry sometimes - normally if I miss a snack. In those times, I rely on smoothies with protein powder to keep me full and focused. I tried a new green smoothie recipe that I'm obsessed with: 1-2 cups of kale, 1 banana, 1/2 cup pineapple, 1/2 cup almond milk, 3-4 ice cubes, 1 scoop of whey protein. It's so so yummy!
Thanks to my diet, I felt even more energized to work out and had even better workouts. Even on my rest day, I ended up doing a short 15 minute workout because my body craved movement. I also had a sharper focus to work on my full-time job and this bloggity.
This week I slacked a little on the yoga, mediation and reading before bed. I did it most days but not every day as I started to pick up more normal activities for me, like Netflix and going to get margaritas with my friends.
Going out to dinner was definitely the hardest part of this week, but most encouraging. It's difficult to find gluten-free, non-red meat, no dairy, no fried or processed foods at certain restaurants and those are, of course, the restaurants I went to. One of the places (Buffalo Wild Wings) only had one thing on the entire menu I could eat (naked chicken strips if you're wondering). While it was challenging, I felt so encouraged by my will power and didn't even think about cheating!
Overall, I feel even happier this week and definitely see this as a true lifestyle change. I'm even a bit nervous to add gluten and dairy back in this week because I don't want to lose any of the progress I've made. I've even lost a few inches in my waistline and my muscles are showing more. I also have abs for the first time, which is so dang exciting! I definitely am excited for pasta this week, but also excited to implement these changes going forward and overhaul my diet and lifestyle.
Check back next week for my thoughts on the reintroduction phase. Again, I am not a doctor and do not recommend an elimination diet without consulting a physician first.