[dropcap]A[/dropcap]fter being in Europe for two weeks and eating croissants for breakfast, pasta for lunch, pasta for dinner, cheese on everything or by itself and drinking wine we needed a reboot. While these meals sound great (and taste fabulous) this “lifestyle” probably isn’t great for your waist line. However, yes you walk EVERYWHERE and yes, the food is way higher quality so the wheat doesn’t bloat you but still it’s a lot. I don’t have a scale, I don’t believe in the number, I go by how I look and feel. And after two weeks I really wanted vegetables. We decided for the first few weeks back in the U.S. we would detox from the carbs and (sigh….) wine.
I don’t know why we thought that cutting everything out at the same time was a good idea but we did. We said no bread, no pasta, no cheese and no wine. We kidded around about the “no fun diet”. I also HATE the word diet. Diet has such a negative connotation. It instantly is associated with weight loss. I like to think of dietary changes as lifestyle changes. Fad diets are just that, a fad. How many people go on a diet for a “few weeks” to “lose five pounds” and then what happens? They gain the weight back. Diets, in my opinion, don’t give people the right mindset of a shift in behavior. It becomes temporary.
Detoxes can be a jump start to lifestyle changes. They can be a re-boot for when you have veered off path. That’s how we treated these almost three weeks of no fun. It was a jump start to scale back in general. Typically during the week we eat very healthy, lots of salads, lower carb dishes and nothing too hearty. On the weekends we might make red meat or maybe a cheesy dish. Usually pasta is reserved for only weekends. So when we came back some of the detox wasn’t too hard but cutting out everything at once made it more challenging.
How we compromised is we gave ourselves one cheat day a week. This wasn’t a day to go all out and undo everything we did all week. It was a day to reward ourselves. We set limits on our cheating. We allowed ourselves to eat potatoes and have a small amount of cheese. When people diet and eliminate certain foods or food groups it becomes easy to slip. Allowing yourself a meal or a day to actually give your body what it is craving, I found, can help you stay on track. Your body doesn’t feel as deprived. On the days we had potatoes and cheese we didn’t eat a pound of cheese. We still moderated but it was enough to fix our craving.
What we did eat was a ton of vegetables. We didn’t cut carbs completely, just mainly the flour based carbs like bread and pasta. We still had grains but not every day and allowed beans, quinoa and rice into our meals. When you cut things out of your diet I find if you season the food pretty liberally it helps you forget what is missing. I (mostly) couldn’t tell the burrito bowls I was eating was missing cheese. And cauliflower tots ALMOST tasted like potatoes.
Towards the end of the detox I had been quite hangry. I was sick of picking crutons out of salads when I went out to lunch. I also don’t eat a lot of meat in general so I felt like there is so much I was NOT having and all I did was eat salads. Lots of salads. One night I made soup and the whole time all I thought about was how a little cheese on top would be great. I couldn’t even finish my soup because I was so crabby when I was eating it. It’s the whole “you want what you can’t have” mentality I suppose.
I have told my husband that once we get to eat normal again, it’s not our excuse to pig out. We aren’t going to eat pasta, pizza, sandwiches all weekend long because “we can”. We need to remember why we did this and incorporate the changes into the day to day life. He is really heavy handed with fats. So a drizzle of olive oil quickly becomes a few tablespoons, cheese is a garnish frequently when half the time it gets buried in the meal and you can’t even taste it. Healthy foods quickly lose their nutritional value when they get loaded with “good fat” so hopefully the past few weeks will help with that. Scaling back and measuring can help keep you on track.
While the past three weeks have been pretty extreme it was a good reminder to level set. It is a good jump start to get back on track to a healthy lifestyle. Vacation was amazing and I’m pretty sad I didn’t eat more gelato, but there is no way I could sustain eating that heavy everyday. With a little discipline and even setting exceptions (your cheat day) a reboot isn’t as terrible as you think. Write down what you eat, hold yourself accountable and soon you will be back on track to a healthy life. But you better believe my first meal back was thin crust pizza 🙂
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional or in the medical field. I am a person that overall leads a healthy lifestyle and knows what works for my body. Before doing anything extreme or if you have medical issues I would consult your doctor first.
Here is how my last three weeks of meals went: