I told you about my goals, and if you follow on Instagram (poshpavement), you have seen some snapshots of my meals.
Just to recap, I am working with Maria Emmerich, and she has designed an eating plan that is specifically tailored around my health goals, and activity levels with marathon training. She is a professional...I am not.
In preparation to start my eating plan, I started reading one of her books which explains in detail a lot of the science and reasoning behind her method. I found it very helpful and informative, and it gave me a really good idea about what the eating plan was going to be like before I enlisted her nutritional consulting.
The first 7 days, we focused on a very high protein/low carbohydrate meal plan. Here's what I stocked up on for week one.
She asked that I stay away from fruit for the first month (with the exception of avocado and Organic Lemons in my water) and keep my vegetables limited to iceberg, cucumbers, pickles, and cabbage for the initial 7 days.
One very powerful piece of information that we discussed was the concept of "sugar in the bloodstream". I vividly remember doing a science experiment in middle school which involved eating a saltine cracker and chewing it over and over in my mouth until a sweet flavor appeared. This example was used in the book and it resonated with me. The purpose of limiting carbohydrates/sugar was to eliminate that sugar in my bloodstream. I still had some carbohydrates in my diet, but they were predominantly from dietary fiber. I cannot tell you how stable and satisfied I felt by eliminating those carbohydrates from sugar. I am tracking my food on myfitnesspal and I am constantly surprised by how full I feel from smaller amounts of calories. I am NOT counting calories, but I can't help but analyze the numbers and compare how I feel.
Another part of my new eating plan? fermented foods! I first read about the nutritional benefits of fermented foods in The Four-Hour Body, but never took the initiative to incorporate them into my diet. I bought pickles and Kimchi at Trader Joe's and made a point to add them here and there. (Noted: Maria told me the delicious Organic pickles I bought from TJ's are not fermented and I should look for Bubbie's Pickles. I bought the Bubbie's pickles and they are a little weird tasting). Kimchi was something I had never tried and it took me a couple days to open the package and taste it. The verdict? I really like it!
In addition to my meals, I have been drinking water with fresh squeezed lemon juice, and lots of green tea. Plain green tea is not my favorite, but I have these two flavored ones which I really enjoy. My other favorite is this one that has a delicious Mango flavor!
I have to be honest and tell you that I have been eating really well. These are all meals that I would enjoy with or without a specialized eating plan because they are delicious, and feature REAL FOOD. Most of them are paleo/primal and gluten free/grain free too!
From top left: 1) eggs, kimchi, avocado. 2) eggs 'n nitrate-free bacon. 3) Coconut flour pancake made with eggs, coconut flour, almond milk, baking powder, salt, stevia. 4) About Time Chocolate Whey Protein Shake made with 1/4 cup full fat cottage cheese, water, almond milk.
Lunch & Dinners:
1) Iceberg, cucumber, avocado with a crab salad (not my favorite). 2) Iceberg, cucumbers, pickles topped with gilled chicken, bits of cooked pancetta, and grass fed New Zealand cheddar all topped with a homemade mustard dressing. 3) Tuna mixed with a hard boiled egg, some Organic full-fat mayo, salt & pepper, eaten with lettuce wraps. 4) Iceberg, cucumbers, topped with chicken I cooked in coconut oil, and red peper flakes, and a mustard dressing that I made with pickle juice! 5) Tuna salad with organic full-fat mayo, chopped pickles, salt & pepper and chopped iceberg. 6) Savory coconut flour pancake, with full-fat cream cheese, smoked trout from TJ's, and a side of pickles.
I'll also managed to create some sweet treats that fall into the guidelines (no sugar/low carbohydrate)
I was intimidated by only having a certain number of carbohydrates to eat throughout the day, but I actually felt awesome! No hunger, no cravings, no moments where I wanted to punch someone in the face for a piece of bread. Some days I was a little high on my carbohydrates, but I didn't stress about it. I am trying something pretty extreme, so there is going to be a learning curve.
Cheats? Yes. I had a couple slip ups...
1) I ate a Quest bar (these things are delicious) on day 1 & 2 because I thought they were allowed and I had a crazy schedule where I was out and about for 6+ hours. They are not allowed for the first 7 days, but after that they are fair game.
2) I drank a small glass of wine and paid BIG TIME. We were running late to a movie and decided to get a quick bite at the Flemings bar since it would be like 10PM when the movie was finished. We had a little milestone that day, so I figured a little glass of wine wouldn't hurt (for the sake of celebrating). I ate some greasy pork belly (delicious but greasy), two garlic shrimps and a small glass of red wine and as soon as we entered the theatre, I regretted it. I felt waves of nausea for the next four hours. I don't know if it was the greasy food or the wine of the combination of both, but I have not felt that terrible in a long time. When we got home, I ate a spoonful of almond butter with hopes of it helping, but it didn't. I generally have a very sensitive stomach with restaurant food and this was not a good decision. Lesson learned.
Have you ever limited carbohydrates or sugar? I'm generally very cautious of added sugars, but this took it to the next level.
Would you rather give up fruit or vegetables? Fruit.
Have you tried Kimchi? What do you eat it on?