Here is my breakfast from yesterday morning:

My delicious breakfast of 2 eggs scrambled with spinach and taco seasoning, smoked salmon, an avocado (with some salt and lime juice), and a cup of coffee with Splenda.

This breakfast is derived from an evolution of various “diets” I have completed. The latest diet was based on Tim Ferriss’ book The 4-Hour Body. I went on this diet in 2011 and lost some weight, so I figured I’d try it again. To summarize, the diet basically calls for eating a protein (meat, eggs, or fish), veggies (not starchy ones), and beans at every meal. You could also have coffee (phew!) and occasionally snack on nuts. Eating avocados was also ok (this was very enticing for me). It was also important to drink lots of water. No calorie counting. No sugar or refined / whole grain carbs (sugar substitute is ok, but fruit is not). No dairy (no cheese 😦 ). And the best part….there was a cheat day! One day a week, you can have all the cotton candy, Rolos, and Kraft Mac & Cheese that you’d like (yes I actually did this) 🙂 I was on this diet for 6 weeks, and, the funny thing is, I started looking forward to cheat day less and less. After having consistent meals for 6 days a week, eating junk all day started to make me really sick. It was also really difficult for me to just eat in moderation on that day. I’m the kind of person where if there is something with sugar in front of me, I will keep eating it, even if I am getting sick of it! Also, around week 5, I was just getting so sick of the beans! Yes, it kept me satiated, but I also started feeling like I was forcing it down when I didn’t even want it. I had lost a few pounds, but I came to a point where I know I needed something different…something that was really going to be long-term and not so forceful. I should also state that this is the first diet where I was also exercising regularly, so while I lost less weight than the first time around, I do believe I was gaining muscle mass.

Well, it was perfect timing when I came upon the Whole9 Program. This diet, or as I prefer to call it, lifestyle, is very similar to The Paleo Diet, however, it’s based on health, not history. The Whole9 Program has a 30-day challenge called Whole30. It differs from The 4-Hour Body diet in that there is no cheat day (which was no longer appealing to me anyways), you CAN have fruit (yay! I really missed that), you cannot have any sugar or sugar substitute (I was/am not excited about no more diet sodas or Splenda/Stevia in my coffee), soy products are not allowed, and you cannot drink alcohol. The website was pretty informative, and I especially enjoyed reading some of the manifestos calling attention to the health dangers of grain, dairy, and legumes – after all, I did want to know the reasoning behind torturing myself with this kind of plan. The legume manifesto really got me thinking about how much my stomach was not liking me for force feeding it beans 3 times a day.

When I was making the decision to try Whole30, I realized that I had already been training myself by not eating any sugar (even fruit) or grains/bread/rice 6 days a week for 6 weeks, so why couldn’t I do this? So currently, I am what I’d like to call “in training” for starting Whole30 in July. I’m going to test the waters, ease in some of the changes, come up with some menus for dinner and lunch, determine the best way to do Whole30 while dining out, and go from there! I do have some commitments in June that will require me to cheat, so I think it’s a perfect time to try it out without truly myself. So far, it’s only been 3 days, and I feel great! I did have a Boca burger (soy), and I have been putting sweetener in my coffee, but, as I said, I’m easing it in 🙂 I do not feel deprived, and I have a good amount of energy. What I really like about this program is the fact that it encourages a change in lifestyle. I’ve done Weight Watchers (lost 20 lb, gained it all back and then some), South Beach (lost 10 lb, gained it all back), and 4-Hour Body (lost 7 lb, gained it all back). I went on all of those diets as a temporary fix. My largest weight loss was for my wedding, which was pretty motivating. “I’ll lose some weight, and then I can eat whatever I want to”, I thought to myself. HA! The truth is, that is not how it works. And it no longer is just about losing weight, I really just want to be healthy. Many of the experiences shared by people who have tried the Whole30 challenge talk about never wanting to eat the way they used to again, and it cites many of the health benefits that came along because of the program. After the 30 days, I hope to be rid of all the not-so-good things in my body. I probably won’t be able to do this forever, but I do think it might help to improve my overall eating habits and reduce my intense carb (mostly sugar) cravings.

So, this is my new diet aka eating lifestyle plan. To me, it’s not a diet in the temporary sense. It’s more of an everyday, this is what I’m putting in my body, kind of diet. Maybe it seems extreme, but nothing changes if nothing changes, right? I hope to share my trials, tribulations, and successes with this new lifestyle. Feel free comment, question, or just let me know what you think (it’s OK to tell me I’m crazy, hehe)!