A friend recently sent me a link to an article in the NY Times about resolutions. It claims that most resolutions are broken by January 8. We have a big head start since we are not even starting until Monday, January 8! It had some interesting notes on change and sticking to it, will-power and self control alone will not get your through the next 30 days.
“pride, gratitude and compassion, whether we consciously realize it or not, reduce the human mind’s tendency to discount the value of the future. In so doing, they push us not only to cooperate with other people but also to help our own future selves. Feeling pride or compassion has been shown to increase perseverance on difficult tasks by over 30 percent. Likewise, gratitude and compassion have been tied to better academic performance, a greater willingness to exercise and eat healthily, and lower levels of consumerism, impulsivity and tobacco and alcohol use.
If using willpower causes stress, using these emotions actually heals: They slow heart rate, lower blood pressure and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. By making us value the future more, they ease the way to patience and perseverance.”
We are each other’s support team. Whether you plan to give up sugar or alcohol, any single one or all 5 of them (wheat, sugar, alcohol, dairy, and caffeine), we can be there for each other. I am grateful for your support, it will keep me on track. And since we are doing this together, I feel compassion for your struggle since it is my own as well. Whether it is wine-oclock you miss, or that instant wake-up jolt of coffee, or the temporary high that sugar gives you…I am there with you.
Let’s not look at this as deprivation. Look at it as bonding new friends, as resetting those taste buds, as resetting your own body’s metabolism to prime shape for 2018 so you can take on the year with all systems on “go”. There were many personal challenges for me in 2017, it was a difficult year. Downsizing, selling a home of 27 years, facing cancer again, and the current political situation all took a toll. I am ready for that reset. Happy to have you with me.
So, let’s talk about preparations. I found that buying the book had benefits, the food lists are right at your fingertips for each phase of the diet. It was also available as an e-reader. The first week the whole system seems complicated, I will try and simplify it for you. It does get easier. But the food lists are essential. My intention is not to reprint the book but rather guide you through the next 30 days with suggestions, menus, recipes, and my own experience. I would love to hear about your own.
On Haylie’s website I found a list of essential foods to have on hand. Here is the link to the essential grocery list. Below I have rewritten it with my own comments:
Grains and Nuts
- Steel cut oats or old fashioned rolled oats (no sugar added) – stay tuned for an overnight crockpot or sous-vide oatmeal recipe
- Quinoa – lots of folks like quinoa, myself not so much, but it’s good for you
- Brown rice
- Raw nuts (no peanuts)
- Raw sunflower seeds – I didn’t find these essential but nice mixed with other nuts as a snack in Phase 3
- Frozen berries if they are not in season, also frozen mango
- Frozen shrimp and/or fish
- Eggs and egg whites (I find the processed egg whites faintly disgusting but that is only me). I use the whites from a fresh egg and mix the yolk into my dog’s food, it is very good for their coats.
Meat and Fish
- Turkey or chicken breasts – I will be cooking a whole turkey breast for “leftovers”, recipe to be posted for sous vide but you can easily roast it in the oven as well. Boneless turkey breasts are on sale now with the end of the holiday season. I bought one and put it in the freezer.
- Deli meat without any nitrates – use turkey or lean roast beef
- Lean ground turkey or beef – stay tuned for an excellent chili recipe which can be frozen
- Turkey, beef, elk or bison jerky – Unfortunately I could not find a tasty one that was commercially available without additional added sugar…maybe you will have better luck. Or, you can make your own. Here is a link to the recipe, I haven’t tried it yet but will and will post the results.
- Canned tuna and/or salmon in water
- Tofu if you are a vegetarian
Condiments and Pantry Items
- Chicken, beef or vegetable stock – try to find organic brands without added sugar, or make your own. I will post an easy recipe for chicken and vegetable stock.
- Canned or dried beans – maybe time to use that Instant Pot you got as a present?
- Sea salt or Himalayan salt – those salts have a higher mineral profile compared to table salt and less additives.
- Balsamic vinegar
- Tamari – this is a wheat free soy sauce which is fermented. You may find it in the Asian section of the grocery store.
- Olive oil – extra virgin
- Herbal tea without caffeine – try to buy organic, I am fond of Numi’s Turmeric Three Roots with ginger, licorice and rose.
- Sparkling water – at wine-oclock try sparkling water with a wedge of lemon or lime, maybe it is the ritual you crave.
Basic Fresh Vegetables and Fruits
- Fresh berries if in season and affordable
- Lemons and limes
- Kale or spinach
- Green or red peppers
- Sweet potatoes
- Yellow and/or red onions
- Almond, coconut, and/or oat milk
- Coconut water – replace the water with it when cooking rice or oatmeal, it’s a taste treat
- Sprouted grain bread and tortillas. You may find Ezekiel in the freezer section. I found several other options and you can find even more online. I must admit that I would put these in the essential list.
- Brown rice pasta (or quinoa pasta if you enjoy it)
- Turkey bacon – try to find one that is sugar and nitrate free. Let me know if you do, I could not.
- Stevia or birch based xylitol – I am going to add my personal take on this one. Haylie allows it on the diet. But, one of the purposes of the program (in my mind) is to retrain your taste buds to the inherent sweetness of foods. It might take a couple of weeks for you to detect the nuttiness and mild sweetness of oatmeal, but it will come.
- Freeze dried berries without sugar if they are out of season.
Lastly just a few things that might help with the transition from caffeine. Shift your morning caffeine ritual to a tea with less caffeine for this week. Numi makes an excellent tea called Emperor’s Pu-erh. It is dark and full bodied, bold even. It even looks like a cup of black coffee when brewed. But it has a much lower caffeine level and is very healthful since it is fermented. You won’t need milk with it as it is not tannic or acidy at all, rather it’s smooth. I find it very satisfying as a coffee substitute. Even better, it will lesson the ‘no caffeine headache’ (I actually didn’t have one during the transition).
This could be a new adventure for your taste buds! The emphasis for the next 30 days is on whole foods, mostly organic if you can find it, and nothing processed. You can find wheat free, sugar free commercial products but they will not be whole foods. A snack can just as easily be an orange, or thinly sliced lean meat wrapped around a cucumber or jicama strip, or a small handful of nuts.
Questions? I haven’t forgotten exercise, or vegetarian options.
Remember this program is about resetting your metabolism so you can enjoy life. You will loose weight but that is not the primary purpose. How many times have I heard friends say that a single cookie goes straight to their waist? That should not be the case. You should be able to enjoy occasional treats if your body is working in prime condition. We are going to get there by the end of 30 days.
Happy New Year everyone, I look forward to doing this with you as a team.