FOOD! FOOD! FOOD!
Ah, how I missed sinking my teeth into solid food! There should be a holiday for the first day of Phase 2, it feels THAT good. But no turkey or ham for me, no stuffing, no buttery, saucey mashed whatnot, just good old whole foods straight from big mama Earth.
Update: When I first began this journey, I looked at the list of food you can and cannot eat according to many of the Elimination Diet guides. There are many restrictions against certain fruits (no citrus fruits!) and vegetables (no nightshade veggies), not to mention nuts (pretty much none are allowed), from which I get a lot of protein and just good old enjoyment out of.
Of course, there is little restriction on meat- (Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, Venison, Duck, Goose, Pheasant, Anchovies, Herring, Salmon, Cod, Scallops, Clams, Oysters are all allowed). So, you can understand why things looked a little grim to me, at first. Now, I realize how silly that was. If anything, my vegan lifestyle is making my life much easier, because the elimination diet is not far from my regular daily consumption, anyway! I’ve just got to be smart about balancing my meals nutritionally. Nixing the soy and the added sugar is the sneakiest part so far, but I am doing it! Boy, am I!
Finally I am beginning to feel full again. During Phase 1, I felt like I was ready for another smoothie only 1-2 hours after finishing one. It went on like that all day- constantly ready for more more more, and just so, insanely hungry. Now, after one meal I can make it through to the next with a healthy little snack in between if need be.
As far as my belly and other digestive organs go- I’m feeling good! Usually after I eat I become the burp queen, just going and going for hours after the meal. Gross. Amazingly and so thankfully lately I have zero bloating, no acid reflux, no discomfort, and the burp queen has been dethroned.
Knock on wood!
Goodies: Here are some of my life-saving goodies that I don’t know what I’d do without for these 23 days!
1) I am a veggie burger lover. Sue me. But many veggies burgers aren’t even vegan to begin with, let alone GF and SF. But Dr. Praeger’s really pulled through for me with their GF, SF, Vegan veggie patty with no creepy additives called the Super Greens! If I am in a rush, or out of ingredients to cook with, or am just plain lazy, this has been my go-to!
2) Being a vegan smoothie queen, a girl has got to have her protein. Duh! But so many fancy vegan proteins come with not-so-fancy added sugars that creep up on you! No, thank you. Vega One is my favorite vegan protein because it has NO SUGAR ADDED! Yippee! Plus gluten-free, 20 grams of protein, 6 servings of veggies, 50% daily intake of vitamins and minerals, fiber, omega-3, antioxidants and probiotics! Be still, my heart! What more can a girl ask for?
3) Quinoa Pasta! Hallelujah, thank goodness for you! GF, protein, and a really yummy way to whip a meal together that seems legitimate, rather than, ohhh, I don’t know, eating raw spinach from the bag, or an entire can of chickpeas… Ahem… I like to whip this up with some collard greens, mushrooms and broccoli for a super healthy, mega tasty, ultra easy dish. You might also LOVE to add…
4) Earth Balance Olive Oil “Butter,” oh I how I love thee. The Olive Oil flavor for this diet because the original contains soy. This baby is GF, DF, SF, and everything you’d ever want not-real butter to be. My butter-loving, meat-eating boyfriend even loves it and uses it now!!! Score!
5) Lundberg Rice Cakes (lightly salted for me, please!) With sliced avocado, and a little bit of salt? Heavenly. Or how about sliced apple and cinnamon? Get outta here. Easiest snack in the world.
6) Bragg’s Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar! Amazing in dressings, sauces, sautees and the like, but what I love to do is take a big ol’ spoonful every morning! Love or hate the taste, it can be completely life-changing! Bragg’s Raw Unfiltered ACV has “the mother” in it, which sounds a little scary, but it means that it contains essential living nutrients and bacteria (which actually also sounds scary). According to Mind Body Green, this super-spoonful can alkalize the system and balance pH levels (like a lemon!), relieve heartburn, put a stop to fungal infections, chronic fatigue and digestive issues, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and keep your glucose levels from spiking after a meal, which may help with weight control! Phew. Okay, done.
Food for Thought (Pun intended): This morning I woke up and I could barely touch my toes, my back was so incredibly tight. I cursed with frustration at how I will never be as flexible as I want to be, and “why do I even try!” I realized my back and shoulders were probably so bundled up from all of my handstand practicing I’ve been doing- hours every day. It made me think a few things. Firstly, please, never become angry at your body. It works so hard for you. Only send it love, love, love. Never compare todays body to yesterdays or this years body to ten years ago. They aren’t supposed to be the same. Your body moves, shifts, grows, changes, constantly. Think about how marvelously beautiful that is. Miraculous, actually. Take note of those changes without judging or shaming them. And secondly, from striving so hard for something “fancy” (the handstand), I was pulling farther and farther away from my foundation (the forward fold.) Having goals is our life-force. But we must remember that in order to achieve those goals, we must be well-prepared, we must honor where we came from, we must take our time, and we must build upon a strong and consistent, incredibly loving foundation. For if we do not, the passionate strife becomes structureless struggle. We can end up hurting ourselves that way- breaking our hearts, or tearing our hamstrings, or both. I am going to rest on the handstand journey for a few days, knowing that it isn’t a failure, or even a pause, but it is all part of the journey, and I am still moving forward by honoring my body!
Blogger’s Orders: Go for a run, unroll your mat, move, stretch, breathe, take a walk on the grass, soak up the sun, and feed your belly nothing but earthly wonders.