Clean Eating Challenge: Days of Shame and Glory

Clean Eating Challenge: Days of Shame and Glory May 27, 2014

Mostly, we’re sticking to this. But Sophia and I blew it big time over the weekend and had hamburgers and fries. Considering the components, hamburgers violate three of the inviolable rules of this challenge: no red meat, no dairy (okay, very limited dairy), and no bread. Pretty sure the seasoned fries aren’t permitted on any diet. Heavy sigh. But it was de-friggin-licious!

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We generally start our days right, Yoghurt with blackberries? You can’t go wrong with things like that. Quick, easy, yumster. Thumbs up all around.

We often skip lunch, and I really have no idea why. Tired of cooking? Super busy? I don’t know. We’re usually having a couple of fried eggs each. We love eggs. Cheap and delicious.

Then, everything went wonky, and here’s why: Sophia had to go to South Bend to plan for a conference that she has to present at. There was no way, given her choice of lodging (cheap, which means family), that she was going to be able to stick to this plan. Because she was staying at my brother’s house, and my sister-in-law is an amazing cook. So, even though he’s diabetic, they eat like kings. (Actually, they might be eating like kings because he’s diabetic.)

One problem with this meal plan is there’s really no room for throwing up your hands and calling off a meal because you’re too tired to cook, or even because there’s a crisis. We’ve discovered if you do, food you have purchased will rot in the fridge. We had to throw out the equivalent of an entire bunch of arugula, and while that may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, it could so easily have been avoided. We should have gone to the store twice in one week. Really, who doesn’t do that?

After Sophia left, a friend stopped by with a rotisserie chicken. “You can eat this, right? Because it’s chicken?” I most certainly could eat that, and we proceeded to do exactly that. OMG.I don’t know what they do to the chickens at that little Mexican place, but they are totes awesome. Bless me Father, for I have sinned: I also had rice and beans. Seriously, it was some new level of gustatory delight. I ate like I was freshly out of the Warsaw Ghetto.

I think this may be one of my biggest issues with this “challenge.” There’s very, very little dairy and except for what amounts to a few bites of chicken and a couple eggs per day, there is little in the way of meat. I’ve done the vegetarian thing before. I have no problem with it. But I was eating way more in the way of eggs and tofu. Also more nuts and nut butter. I could eat three of those breakfast things. I would definitely eat more for lunch and dinner each day, if it was separated out, rather than mixed up in a bowl. Maybe I’m  just not that hungry.

Sophia Refinishing DresserAnd then hey, it was a holiday weekend, and we had furniture refinishing to accomplish. Perfect weather for that. We were both hot as a couple of dogs, and ten times sweatier. We ate Outshine bars for supper.

I can honestly say there hasn’t been a single meal I haven’t cared for. I love veggies and salad, but there’s just so much I can take.

Biggest unexpected upside! I have some interesting digestive issues. I throw up a lot. I mean, maybe every other day. No rhyme or reason. I wake up super sick, and it’s not morning sickness. I also take an unreasonable amount of antacid. Not this week. I haven’t thrown up a single time, nor have a taken a single pill. As a nation, with very few exceptions, Americans eat like crap. However, I’m loathe to blame diet for every ill, or to jump on fad diets. I am pretty convinced that at least 50% of people who don’t eat gluten have zero medical reason for doing so. But I think I might have some lactose issue here. I’m definitely going to check with my doctor the next time I go in.

So while I initially thought that not drinking milk was the kind of crazy that I just wouldn’t put up with for more than a week, this is maybe something I can deal with.

And, despite some people being asshats about gluten, I have developed a real compassion for people who really can’t eat it. That is just hard. I mean, really hard.

So, we’re still plugging away. It’s not easy, but we’re coping.

Sort of.


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  • Cindy Price

    After I stopped eating gluten and dairy and drinking caffeine, most of my digestive issues disappeared as well. Now if I have gluten or dairy, the issues come back. I just cannot go cold turkey on cheese yet though. I did for 4 weeks and it was torture, but I did feel a lot better without cheese in my diet. It is difficult though, especially when you are just trying to eat healthier, and not because you have a medical reason.

    • pioneercynthia

      This diet only has a little Parmesan cheese and yoghurt, so there’s not much to give me a dairy upset. I miss cheese though. I love cheese. I’m very curious to see how it works when I start eating it again.

  • Denise Jackson

    Look at you go! It’s all about adapting, and rolling with the punches. You are doing so well. And if you’ve found a cure for your vomiting, all the better!

  • pioneercynthia

    Thanks. I’d certainly gotten into some really bad eating habits. This is helping.

  • It’s funny the things that will make you feel bad. It took me 45 years to realize that breads cause me terrible heartburn. The more I eat, the worse the heart burn. Once I cut out bread, no more heart burn. I didn’t do it on purpose, it was a total accidental find, but man, what a life-changer! Nowdays, I can have a little bread occasionally, if I want to pay for it with heartburn later. And for some reason tortillas and whole wheat pitas don’t seem to bother me as much, so most anything that calls for “bread” gets wrapped up in a tortilla or stuffed in a pita for me. Weird, huh?

    • pioneercynthia

      I am actually afraid to drink milk now, since I’ve managed to stop throwing up. It really could have nothing to do with it, but that’s my association.