Day: September 29, 2010

Day 9- Zen

Today is day 9 of my 10 day Real Food Challenge, and I can honestly say it has not been a huge challenge– but it has been incredibly enlightening.  During the first few days, I could not really appreciate the challenge, the process, or even what benefits might come since I felt so sick, but during the second half of the challenge I have hit my stride.  I can now assess and share a variety of benefits that I have experienced– some expected and some unexpected.

One benefit I expected was to lose weight.  I did that.  I have lost about 5 or 6 pounds.  I also got to lose some inches from my waist.  I noticed by day four that my stomach was less bloated and more flat, so that was great.  I did not expect to be made sick initially, but that passed and now I feel pretty fantastic.  Another unexpected benefit has been the stabilization of my mental state or what feels sort of like “zen.”  I am more confident, less emotionally labile, calmer, and more content [even in the face of stress like I experienced today, I was- what can only be described as- zen calm].  While initially, I was exhausted, I am now more energetic and feel pretty good.  I expected to have intense cravings and to have to fight them and write about them to ward them off.  I have not had intense cravings; and frankly, after the first day, have experienced almost no cravings and have not felt hungry or ravenous at any time.  I am much more satisfied by less food.

This might be the best part of all.  I suppose the main benefit of all is that I am eating because I need some fuel for my body and I am not eating to medicate.  The removal of the sugar means that I am not compelled by forces seemingly beyond my control to engage in mindless eating of empty, sugar/carb loaded, nutrient-starved foods. Before the challenge, I had reached a point that I sometimes get to when stressed where I literally feel out of control.  These are times when I don’t feel very well physically, so I reach for foods that are fast or comforting or sweet.  These foods don’t really satisfy hunger very well and they increase the desire for more like foods, and I get sucked into a vortex where I literally feel like I lose the ability to make good choices and I am on sort of an out of control autopilot.  Eating real foods has taken away that panicky loss of choice and given me a measure of control– maybe not even control so much as a detached objectivity that allows me to make good choices and not be hijacked along the way by the mad impulsivity fueled by sugar cravings.

Real Food Day 6 [& I made it through a weekend]:)

So, day 6 of the Real Food 10 Day Challenge, which means I have only four more days ’til my birthday, and four more days of the challenge.  I am not really going crazy or anything and it hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I anticipated.  Day 2-day 4 were not very fun because I was feeling so bad.  Even this weekend, I continued to suffer from nausea at various times.

So, my physical complaints during the first half of this challenge were:  headaches, body aches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and other intestinal issues.  I thought I had a virus; my son [the nurse] thought I was in detox.  He believes that the absence of sugar, artificial sweeteners, white flour, processed foods, and chemical additives and preservatives sent my body into a tailspin.  At this point, I am beginning to think he might be right.

This weekend was good.  I made the Jambalaya that I found on the Food Illusion blog and it was really good– local sausage, shrimp, onion, celery, creole seasoning, tomatoes, and brown rice.  Tonight we had whole wheat pasta and homemade spaghetti sauce, and it was pretty good.

What I miss the most is–surprisingly enough– Diet Coke.